Reflections On 22 Years Of Ministry

This Sunday, May 20th, marks the 22nd anniversary of the day I was ordained as a pastor at VALLEY Christian Church. It also represents another milestone in my life, I’ve now been a pastor for half of my life (ordained at age 22). The journey over the years has been a growth and learning experience to say the least. As the 22nd anniversary is approaching, here are a few reflection and thoughts:

  1. The person you marry will have more to do with ministry success or failure than any college/seminary professor will ever tell you. I LOVE MY WIFE!!!
  2. Spiritual Leadership is about personal growth as a Follower of Christ. If you’re not growing daily in your relationship with Him, you’ll never be able to lead anyone else.
  3. Ministry is all about Jesus, not about you. Lose sight of Him, and pride quickly fills in the vacuum.
  4. You can’t want it more for someone than they want it for themselves. Having experienced many “wins” over the years, it’s crazy how clearly every “lose” is vividly remembered.
  5. The greatest sin of pastors is maintaining and playing it safe.
  6. Pastors who are “people pleasers” should find a different line of work.
  7. Put your wife and children ahead of ministry, you’ll never regret it and your ministry will have a much greater impact.
  8. To be an effective pastor, you must be “thick skinned”.
  9. When we truly follow Jesus, we will experience much of the same experiences he did. He’s not just our example, he’s also our navigator, healer, counselor and friend.
  10. Perseverance is one of the most overlooked Christian virtues.
  11. There are very few people who start with you, who can accompany you all the way on the journey. When you find someone who can, you have found a true friend.
  12. Empowering someone else is more gratifying than receiving praise for personal accomplishments.
  13. A pastor’s children reflect more accurately who they are than their ministry or church does.
  14. Real leaders produce leaders, not followers.
  15. At the end of the day, every honest pastor knows deep down, that every success, accomplishment, achievement, was because of God’s grace and had very little to do with him personally. It’s just Jesus following through with his promise, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).

After 22 years, I can whole-heartedly say, there’s nothing else in this world I’d rather do than pastor! I can’t wait for the next 22 years! -GW

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