I have been a pastor now for almost two months. Time has flown by and I have to pinch myself every once in a while to make sure I am not dreaming. It is an amazing privilege to get to do what God has called you to do!
One of the things that became evident to me quickly was the need to develop a set of pastoral priorities. These are the things that are most important to my calling as a pastor and what I seek to spend my time each week doing. I can promise that these priorities did not originate with me (Scripture along with other pastors and mentors have helped me see the need for these priorities) but I thought it would be helpful to write them down.
1. Preach and teach the Word of God faithfully. I think we often underestimate the power God’s Word can have on a group of people. I recognize that my time spent studying and digging into the text is unbelievably valuable. Each week I stand before our congregation and speak, “Thus says the Lord” and I want to make sure that I am preaching His Word faithfully and not my own opinions or ideas. I have set aside my mornings to spend in study and prepare my messages. I do everything possible to guard this time.
2. Pray. PRAY. PRAY! The past two months have reminded me more and more of my dependence on God’s power and His Spirit. I pray daily for my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my family, our congregation (see Brian Croft’s post on this), and our community. I cannot do what God has called me to do apart from His power and strength. God works when His people pray and I don’t ever want to hinder what He wants to do in my life, my church, and my community.
3. Love the people. It is humbling to think that God has entrusted the people at New Vision Fellowship to my care. The old adage is true, especially in the pastorate, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Even though I have been called and given the title of pastor, I recognize that it is a title that must be earned. There is no better way to earn the right to be the pastor than loving the people.
What an exciting journey that lies ahead!