Advice for New Pastors / Randy White
by Dr. Randy White, pastor
FBC, Katy, Texas
Originally posted May 29, 2014 at Dr. White’s blog
I recently took a moment to write a note to some of my young preacher friends, and closed with a bullet list of advice for “Preacher boys.” I decided I’d share it with all of you. Perhaps this advice for young pastors will be a blessing to someone.
- Study the text word by word, not verse by verse. Doing so will keep you in the ministry for decades, not for years.
- Don’t fret criticism. If you worry over all the critics, you’ll hate the ministry.
- Expand and extend your ministry online. A media ministry is open to the masses now. Find ways to tap in. In 10 years, you’ll be glad you did.
- Be known as a Bible teacher, not a strategist, leadership guru, political pundit, or entertainer.
- Never apologize if you didn’t do it. Never fail to apologize if you messed up. Typically, pastors apologize too much.
- Question what you hear. The latest theological trend, church gossip, or denominational story is likely inflated, half-true, and damaging.
- Be willing to change your doctrine. If your study of the Word shows that you’ve been holding to something that doesn’t measure up, then change your position and let your people know.
- Get to know people. If your staff is the only other ministers you really know, then you don’t know other people. Meet the guys in your denomination. Meet the local Rabbi. Meet the Israeli Consulate. Meet reporters and news anchors. Meet your congressman. Be pastoral to these people, not wanting to “get something” from them, but being available to help them.
- Make yourself available to your congregation. Publish your cell number, open your home, allow appointments and walk-ins. People will respect this and not abuse it.
- Use meals for ministry. Simple meals with others will go a long way. Breakfast at McDonald’s and lunch at Taco Bell are great times and places to meet other men in your congregation. If you try to make every ministry meal a sit-down restaurant, you’ll go broke…and get fat. You can meet a young man at Taco Bell, give him 45 minutes, build a friend, eat a simple lunch, and be a good pastor.
- Don’t tweet who you had lunch with.