“ fully carry out the ministry God has given you” (2 Timothy 4:5)
Your opportunity to stay in ministry and be effective is in direct proportion to several significant attitudes and actions. I am sure this list is not exhaustive but does reflect what I have observed. Please feel free to comment below.
1 - your ability to move forward after a hurt: This is not a maybe or a possibility but a fact, if you are in ministry you will be hurt. There will be people who will gossip about you, who will want you to be fired, who will question your motives, who will accuse you falsely, who will be out to get you. So, the better question is, how quickly can you move on from a hurt. If you can’t, if you harbor it, feed it, focus on it, you will struggle to stay in ministry. Move on.
2 - your willingness to let the elders be the elders: The best ministerial advice I’ve gotten from my wife is that simple adage. She will repeat it to me often and she is correct. I should encourage them, give input as wanted, help them grow and seek to help them be the spiritual men and leaders God demands them to be - BUT I must always remember my role is to preach and minister and their’s is to shepherd and govern. They know things about the history of the church and the members that you do not. They were probably there before you got there and will be there to pick up the pieces should you foul things up. Let them be the elders.
3 - your readiness to work with people with whom you disagree: Because we deal with heady matters like truth and heaven and hell, with unchangeable things like truth and God’s Word it can become easy for you to live in “fight mode.” There are going to be people with whom you disagree. Sometimes it will be big issues sometimes smaller. Unless it is a matter of clear doctrine (and please don’t make every molehill a mountain you would die on) strive to work with those with whom you disagree. For the sake of the Kingdom. If you do not learn how to do this you will spend your life moving and moving and moving and will rarely affect anyone. Learn to see the bigger picture and to work well with those with whom you can - if at all possible. Let me add here that you have to learn to relent, to back off, the lose sometimes if you are going to win with the people you work with.
4 - your disposition in working with people who you do not like over personality issues: While this one is a tad different but if we are honest we will admit there are people it is just hard for us to like. Often what seems to happen is when a preacher doesn’t like someone they try to make it a doctrinal matter. I don't think it is on purpose but it does seem to happen. If you find someone you don't like - It may be their approach to things, it may be their volume, it may be their taste. Again, just as with the one above learn to be bigger than your personal tastes.
We'll continue this list later this week but for now what would you add?