When young men go into the ministry, they are ambitious and hopeful. They dream of saving countless souls and inspiring brethren immediately to become passionate and obedient.
However, reality soon sets in, and they learn that working with humans is more complicated than they realized. These aspiring preachers learn some harsh lessons in the meantime and struggle until they gain some experience.
When we embark into a new career, we need copious amounts of guidance, patience and grace until we know what we are doing. With that in mind, here are six lessons that young preachers may not be told in school or when they are in training.
Instead these kinds of lessons are learned through experience, hard knocks and observation. As older men, we need to be supportive of younger preachers like we wish someone would have been with us (Matthew 7:12).
When we go through difficult, strange or frustrating experiences, we may think we are the only ones who have gone through that trial. We may wonder why the Lord has singled us out for such torment. Instead, we must realize that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
The ministry is a very difficult and challenging life. Yet, the rewards are magnificent.
Brethren are wonderful people, for the most part, despite their humanity. When we deal with people, we will be mistreated at times and treated like royalty at other times. Despite all the many highs and lows, it is a wonderful life, and we need to support more men to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2).
DISCLAIMER: First, I do not have any specific congregation or brethren in mind in this article. Second, these things do not happen to every preacher and in every congregation. However, they are common to the experiences of many mature preachers. Third, no offense is intended to anyone or any gender. Fourth, I am blessed to work with a wonderful congregation.
Six things young preachers need to know:
- You will always be in trouble about the temperature in the auditorium in worship or Bible Class.
- Men in the congregation hire you, but the women usually fire you.
- If the quirks of the members predated you, then don’t take them personally when they are directed at you.
- There will usually be some strange expectations of you that don’t make any sense. But they are in place because of something a previous preacher did during his tenure.
- Don’t get between the leadership and the congregation in a dispute if you can help it. If the dispute sets men/leadership against the women, flee.
- Never forget you are a guest and therefore expendable. The local brethren were there before you and they have to put up with each other after you.