Long-term Pastoring Perspectives
What a pastor learns over the years . . .
1. The kingdom of God does not, and will not, skip a beat when I am sidelined.
2. The church is more important than I thought when I started.
3. Some of my words and actions to which I am most oblivious can be hurtful to people.
4. Pastoral ministry is indeed, as John Newton said, ‘a bitter full of sweet’ and ‘a sorrow full of joy.’
5. Christians are the greatest people in the world.
6. Christians are capable of the most wicked actions in the world.
7. My greatest challenge at the beginning of my ministry continues to be dealing with my own heart.
8. An excellent wife is the greatest earthly gift I have and she is more excellent than I ever could have imagined.
9. True friends are rare and invaluable.
10. Some of the most outwardly religious people can be the biggest hypocrites.
11. It is nearly impossible for a man who marries poorly to make it in the ministry.
12. Some of the most humble, unassuming saints provide the greatest encouragement to pastors.
13. Some of the most effective pastoral ministry I’ve ever had has come through my presence more than my words.
14. Some words I have spoken incidentally have ministered God’s grace more powerfully than others over which I laboured and prepared for hours.
15. Preaching really is a divinely ordained, foolish activity.
16. Every conversion to Christ is a miracle of grace involving intricate acts and provisions that have been divinely orchestrated.
17. Having the right books is far more important than having many books.
18. God’s grace has shined brightest through the suffering of his people.
19. Justification by faith is a bottomless well of grace.
20. The complete humanity and spotless righteousness of Jesus has become more amazing to me.
21. There is no easy way to do a hard task, and ministry is full of hard tasks.
22. The propitiatory work of Jesus on the cross amazes me more and more.
23. The relationship of God’s law to his gospel has implications for every biblical doctrine.
24. Some of the greatest pastors are men who live, serve and die in relative obscurity.
25. Incremental progress is real progress and should not be dismissed.
26. God is far more patient than I could ever have imagined.
27. Forgiveness is one of the sweetest graces both in its giving and receiving.
28. Wherever you see a long pastorate, you can be sure there is an abundance of grace in the congregation.
29. Godly widows and widowers are worthy heroes.
30. The advance of the gospel and the spread of God’s kingdom is a testimony to the power of God’s grace.
31. Raising children is one of the greatest privileges and challenges in human experience.
32. Having adult children is a greater joy and blessing than I ever imagined it would be.
33. Grandchildren rock!
Tom Ascol is pastor in Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, Florida.
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