By Thom Rainer
In an earlier post, I shared the top traits of pastors who had long-term and mostly joyous ministries at one church. Another key insight I learned from these pastors is how they think. The first article, therefore, dealt mostly with their actions. This article refers to their thoughts.
After each attitude, I share a representative comment (at least as I best recall them) from a healthy, long-term pastor. Here, then, are the top ten attitudes listed in the frequency I heard them.
- Thanksgiving. “Sure, I could focus on all the problems and challenges of being a pastor, but I choose to focus on all the blessings of this calling. There are many.”
- Perspective. “It always helps me to remember that I was called to a church full of sinners just like me. It’s messy a lot of the time, but that is my calling.”
- Servanthood. “I usually get a bad attitude when I think about things not going my way at the church. But when I focus on putting others before myself, it changes my attitude.”
- Humility. “How can I complain too much about my church members when I remember who I am? But for the grace of God, I could do nothing good.”
- Joy. “I am always reminded of Philippians 4:4. We are commanded to rejoice in all circumstances. So in my ministry at the church, I count it all joy, the good and the bad.”
- Responsibility. “I must lead by example. I must have a daily prayer and devotional life. I must share the gospel regularly. I must love others. I shouldn’t expect anything out of the church members that I don’t do myself.”
- Encouragement. “I make it a point to encourage someone at least three times a day, either in person, by email, or by phone. That means I am encouraging someone over 1,000 times a year.”
- Submission. “I am not without temptations, ego, and fault. I make certain I remain fully accountable to and transparent with the elders.”
- Self-awareness. “I really try to look in the mirror as much as I am able. But I know that I will never see myself perfectly clearly. That’s why I have someone I meet with at least once a month to help me see myself. He is both and encourager and a truth-teller to me.”
- Contentment. “It took me over ten years to get to this point. Now I realize that I am greatly blessed to serve where God has me. I refuse to have the green grass syndrome, or to see myself in ambitious competition with others. I know it’s cliché, but I really just have a desire to bloom where I am planted.”
These are the top ten attitudes I heard from pastors who have healthy, long-term pastorates. What do you think of this list? What would you add?
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Originally published at thomrainer.com.