A Few Realities of the Pastorate-Jim West

  1. Most Church people are kind, helpful, and willing to serve.

2. Some Church people are hurtful, selfish, and willing only to be served.

3. It will take at least 2 years knowing each sort before you figure out which sort they are.

4. Ministry is a thankless task; expect very little appreciation.

5. Lower your expectations of people, you’ll be less stressed out.

6. In every Church there is at least one thorn in the flesh sent by God to remind you that you depend on Him and not people.

7. If you have 5 true friends, count yourself blessed.

8. Church people will turn on you in a second. 

9. Disagreements among friends usually end up in reconciliation. 

10. Disagreements with some Church members will only be resolved when they have driven you off.

11. Reveal your feelings about others to no one.

12. Expect Church people to let you down.

13. Pray without ceasing.

14. In everything give thanks.

15. Find something you enjoy doing outside of ministry, completely disconnected from the life of the Church, and do it every day.

16. Don’t forget your family.

17. Find a true friend.

18. Other Pastors won’t be that true friend.

19. Never trust any Church member who says, the moment they meet you, ‘I’ll always be there for you’. They’re lying.  They will be the first to stab you in the back.

20. Make sure your zipper is up before you enter the pulpit (if you’re a dude.  I don’t think women sport zippers) If you’re a guy, never go into the home of a woman when she is there alone, and never ever meet with a woman without the door open and someone in the next room.  Ever.  For any reason.  People may call you misogynistic for this, but it’s just wisdom.  As soon as you shut the door, people will talk.  Guaranteed.

21. Don’t rely on Church workers working.

22. Don’t post things before you proofread them.

23. Retire and don’t supply, fill in, or otherwise preach.  No other professional keeps on doing what they’ve done for a lifetime when they retire.  Why should you?

24. Finally, love people whatever their views, ideologies, or political dispositions.  If Jesus could endure Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax Collector, you can endure ideological extremes too.

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