If you could write a letter to yourself 10 years ago, what would you say? What would you tell yourself to focus on or shy away from? What would you tell yourself to pay attention to or to let go a little more often?
Whenever you're starting something new, there are always going to be tricks of the trade you haven't learned yet. There are things you will know as an experienced pastor, with years under your belt, that you didn't know when you were just beginning.
This is OK.
The maturation process means that as you go and as you move forward, you will continuously get better at your job. If you aren't, you're doing something wrong. The mistakes and learning experiences we have at the beginning of our careers are the lessons that make us into the great pastors we will be in 10 years but aren't quite yet.
But just because the learning experiences are good doesn't mean there aren't a few words of caution that could help you out today.
Here are five mistakes young pastors commonly make:
1. They lack a work-life balance. Being a pastor is an all-consuming job. It's relational in nature and, therefore, hard to leave at home. It is easy to get so wrapped up in helping your congregation that you forget there are people waiting for you at home, other people who need you.
Even you need rest and care and attention.
A common mistake young pastors make is to overwork themselves. They overestimate how much they have to give. Overwork leads to burnout and is the cause of many young pastors quitting too early.
Take time for yourself and for your family and to rest. It will lengthen and strengthen your career and your ability to make the impact you want to make.
2. They don't receive counsel from older pastors. The fact of the matter is that pastors who have been doing this longer than you have are going to know more than you do. Wise young pastors find someone well ahead of them in years and experience to mentor and teach them. You and your congregation will benefit greatly from wise counsel speaking into your life and your ministry.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
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