My 7 Do-Overs after over 40 Years in Ministry

In my 40-plus years in ministry I’ve served as a singles pastor, discipleship pastor, teaching pastor, church planter, and as a lead pastor. I’ve served in the deep south (the land of grits, I live there now), the southwest (the land of Mexican buffets), the far west (the land of fish tacos), the mid-west (the land of Chicago hot-dawgs), and in Canada (the land of poutine; I wondered what that was too. Google it.). Three kids, five grandkids, and seven books later, each experience has made me a more rounded leader. Yet, as I look back, I think I’d have done a few things differently. Here’s a list of my do-overs.

  1. I wouldn’t have been so much a people pleaser.
  2. I would have carved out more time to think and reflect.
  3. I would have more consistently disconnected one day each week.
  4. I would have spent more time building closer friendships with other pastors.
  5. I would have turned off my smart phone and computer more often.
  6. I would have read twice as many books as I actually did.
  7. I would have listened more and talked less.

As I enter not my life’s ‘quarter-time’, I hope to apply some of these lessons better going forward.

What would be your biggest do-over?

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4 thoughts on “My 7 Do-Overs after over 40 Years in Ministry”

  1. I think that this is an excellent list and I resonate with some of the same issues in my own life. But let me say this: I think that all your mistakes and learning experiences have made you just the right person for our church at this time. Led by Bruce Scott, our church board made a lot of well thought out changes so that we might be ready when a man of your calibre became ready to lead us. So my heartfelt thanks to you for being who you are right now. Thank you for learning from the lessons of your life and sharing them with others on this blog and in person. There is a fresh wind of God’s favour on us at West Park and a freeing up of unrealized potential taking place. We are His church, and you are “da man”, and this is the time for Good News to flood our community. Keep preaching, keep writing, and keep making Jesus famous in our midst.
    Scott Forbes

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