The answer to this question will vary among pastors. So much happens in the first 5 years and sadly statistics show most do not even make it that far in one place. This is why I found these reflections from a pastor who wrote me recently particularly insightful and should act as an encouragement to those of you in between years 2-3 at your church who have officially slid out of the honeymoon stage and are starting to feel the pressure.
This pastor writes in reflection upon his 5 year anniversary…
– Pastoral ministry requires far more courage than I ever dreamed.
– Expositional preaching is a far more effective medium than I ever imagined.
– The temptation to quit the church or quit pastoral ministry all together is rather frequent, but perseverance is worth it.
– Neglecting important ministries is terribly easy but also deadly in the long-term.
– If there is a strong love-bond between the pastor and his flock – the congregation believes that I love them and I believe that they love me – that will cover a multitude of sins.
Fellow pastors, do not miss what the Lord is teaching you as you minister, regardless if you have been at your church for 3 years or 30 years. He is faithful to make us what he desires as His shepherds and will give us the strength and grace to persevere.
What lessons did some of you learn by year five?