I am still new to ministry and so I don’t have as much wisdom to share as I hope to have one day, yet God has blessed me with many great mentors and I’m happy to repeat to you many of the things I have been taught. I hope that this advice will cause you to become more like Christ, and prepare you for a lifetime of fruitful ministry.
God’s Word is the primary way by which God has revealed who He is and what He is like. So it is vitally important that you love the Word, study it, and ask that the Holy Spirit would write it on your heart. Of course, it is also vitally important that you boldly (and humbly!) preach the Word to your people. Don’t be caught up in any kind of church movement that lessens the importance of the Bible. Jesus Himself was the living Word and to know Scripture is to know Christ. Pray that your study of Scripture would be truly devotional and that it would have a deep impact on your heart.
It is equally important that you love your people. Preaching and people ought to be your two primary ministries and it is easy to forget the people part! Spend time with all kinds of people, not just the ones that are most like you or who you enjoy the most. Pray that God would cause you to genuinely love them and find joy in serving them. Ask that God would move in their hearts to make them more like Christ. Pray that God would raise leaders in your church to minister along side you.
I’d like to end with a few random things pieces of advice that have served me well and I’d like you to think on and ponder. As the leadership goes, so goes the church. Before you ink any plans, make sure to ask, “How will this affect families?” You are more likely to be incredibly boring than a heretic; make sure you spend time thinking about how you communicate, not just what you communicate. Pray about everything. Be willing to collaborate more than you think you need to. The problems that come with over-communication are better than the problems that come with under-communication. Be ambitious to bring God a great amount of glory. The gospel makes you humble and bold at the same time. Whatever you do, keep repenting of sin! Every day, every time, turn away from sin and turn back to the Lord. Make sure your wife is happy with your schedule; if you are gone too much, get back home! Be the chief servant at home. Don’t neglect loving your children. Keep looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.
I look forward to seeing how God will use you for His glory.