Sunday, May 8, 2011
Take My Advice
In my book, only two essays made my cut: John Buckanan's excellent essay entitled, "Why Stay in the Church?" (why would any pastor stay in the church and why do I stay?) and James Howell's "Don't Take My Advice", in which he informs pastors that all advice on ministry is essentially bogus and he has nothing new to offer. I love him for this advice and honesty, and for not buying into the stereotypes about preaching and the pastoral life that most of the other "expert pastors" seem to buy into. I've spent my lifetime (I hope) rebelling against pastoral stereotypes (how pastors talk, act, create, live, eat, drink, etc.).
I read this book, but I won't read it again.
If there is any pastoral advice I would offer to other younger clergy out there it would be some of the following:
Don't let others (not family, and especially, not the church) dictate how or why God has called you to lead, preach, or creatively represent the gospel of Jesus.
Don't ignore yourself, your family, or your friends to the exclusion of dying for the church . . . you can die over the course of your lifetime, but you'll need your health, your family, and your friends for the good of your own soul.
Do what you do best and don't try to be someone you are not . . . nobody respects a fake.
And finally, always call your mother on Mother's Day. I did. She's sending underwear!
Posted by Todd Outcalt at 12:08 PM