10 Helpful Things All Pastors Should Know

Everyone needs mentoring.  Mentoring is listening to someone who has made more mistakes than you.  

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I’ve made a lot of mistakes in 47 years of ministry, and they all boil down to these ten:

1.    "HANDLE MONEY CORRECTLY" 

  • Spend less than you earn—try to save 10%.
  • Be aggressive with debt—try to stay debt-free.
  • Keep an emergency fund—three months of income as a cushion.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in 47 years of ministry, but they all boil down to these ten.
— Larry Stockstill

 2.   "WORK HARD"

  • Get a vision—Nehemiah saw the wall first in his mind.
  • Build a team—He gave each person a task.
  • Stay positive—He never let resistance lower his attitude.
  • Create benchmarks—He tracked his progress.
  • Avoid distraction—He refused to get “off mission.”

 3.    "STAY HAPPILY MARRIED"

  • God’s providence—God sovereignly put you together.
  • School of character—God is using your partner to strengthen your weaknesses.
  • Sex is the “mirror” of your relationship—Strengthen your relationship and sex will take care of itself.

 4.    "ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE"

  • Humility/serving—“Know it all” and “lord of all” is bad leadership.
  • Gratitude—Verbalize your appreciation.
  • Honor—Value every person, especially those who hold any type of office.

 5.     "COMMUNICATION IS A SKILL"

  • Define expectations—Biggest problem in communication.
  • Learn to listen—Two ears, one mouth.
  • Ask questions—The essence of coaching.
  • Use stories—Stories boost visual learning and retention (Nathan with David about Bathsheba!)
  • Break habits—Watch yourself speak on video and prepare to be shocked.

6.    "SET FAITH GOALS"

  • Start at the bottom—Find true reality first.
  • Get a clear vision—See your next level.
  • Fix what is wrong—Don’t be afraid to change.
  • Stay focused—Focus brings fruit.

 7.    "CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS"

  • Capture your thoughts—Thoughts control your destiny
  • Check your friends—Are they going “up” or “down”?
  • Remove the groove—Break out of the mental “grooves” in your brain.
  • Renew your mind—Get rid of fear, lust, and pride.
Promote others, God will promote you. - Larry Stockstill

 8.    "FOLLOW THE SPIRIT"

  • Talk to Him directly—He is a Person.
  • Listen to His voice—An inward witness (“Yes, No”) or an inward voice (impression or picture).
  • Follow your peace—God’s will is never confused.
  • Fast about major decisions—Your spirit will grow sharper than your mind.

 9.    "LEARN THE WORD" 

  • Listen/read every day—You cannot feed others unless you have fed yourself.
  • Memorize key verses—They will come to you in moments of distress.
  • Get a software program—I love Logos.
  • Memorize/outline the books of the Bible—Grasp the “whole counsel of God.”
  • Highlight and build notes in your Bible—You will re-read your notes every year as you pass there again.

10.    "FOCUS ON THE KINGDOM"

  • Honor—Don’t judge other pastors by the size of their church but the size of their heart.
  • Flexibility—Don’t be so rigid in your theology you have no fellowship.
  • Promoting others—Promote others, God will promote you.
  • Heavenly-minded—Make a straight path in your mind toward the moment you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

There you have it.

If you are interested in learning more about pastoral leadership, read my blog about the 7 marks of a good pastor