Thursday, August 8, 2013

First Time Out of the Gate

You have received your first pastoral assignment in the AME Church and you feel wonderful, recognized and eager to implement all of the ideas and plans that you just know will help your church grow and be prosperous. I know the feeling, as this was my first year as a pastor. However, I would like to offer some tips to first time pastors. I found that by sticking to these simple tips, it helped me and the church that I pastor have a successful year, both spiritually and financially.  Here we go:

1.      Whatever you do, keep God first. Everything that you do will fail if God is not in it. It is all about God and never about you.
2.      Have a mission statement and vision for the church. Without a vision the people will perish and without a mission the people don’t know where they are going or what they are working towards.
3.      Do not change officers for a year. You cannot change what you don’t know. Take the year to observe your officers and if there are changes to be made and your bishop assigns you to go back, then you can make your changes.
4.      Be transparent. This is one of the most important rules to go by. Everything that your bishop or presiding elder sends you, make a copy and take it to your Official Board meeting. Also, be transparent about the finances of the church. A monthly financial report for the congregation is a must.
5.      Evangelism is a must. You must become a part of the community in which you pastor. If you are trying to increase your membership, you must get out and be seen and heard.
6.      Be a leader, but not a dictator. Check your ego at the door.
7.      Do not be ashamed to call out for help and mentoring. If you don’t know, then ask! That is what your presiding elder and colleagues are for.
8.      Do not procrastinate about raising your budget.
9.      Do not rush the people into making radical changes. Slow and steady wins the race.
10.  And finally, preach the Word! Feed God’s flock with substance and not junk. Not only will your members grow spiritually, but the church will grow in numbers. By growing spiritually, they will pass the Word to those who are looking to join the body of Christ.

Ministry is not easy, but with God and a plan we know that, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28. Enjoy the ministry, but most of all RESPECT the ministry. Watch for Part 2 soon.................


  1. Succinct, realistic great rules of thumb!

    Praise God!

  2. This is great and not only for first assignments but new assignments. God First!