Those who know me, know I advocate for a pastor to stay a minimum of 5 years. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is that it is hard to build trust with a church in much less than 5 years. There were 3 different efforts to get me fired in the first 5 years at my church. Although I survived all those battles, I found myself discouraged and exhausted at the end of them. I almost left. But I stayed. Why I stayed is another blog post for another day. But because I stayed, I learned some valuable lessons I would not have learned had I left at 5 years.
Some of those lessons revolve around what I learned about preaching in a hostile context in the early years. Here are 5 of them:
- God’s word is really powerful enough to bring life to a church.
- Listen to the older members when they don’t like your preaching.
- The Word of God never returns void…even through scowls.
- Every pastor needs a supportive, but unimpressed evaluation of our preaching.
- Few things bring joy like a congregation that grows hungry for God’s word.
In the next few weeks, I will post explanations of each of these 5 lessons I learned. Stay tuned…