My Dear Son,
I realize you will be serving Christ in a world mostly different than the one where I was trained and released into ministry in the midst of change; I want you to mimic me as I mimic Christ.
There are 2 main, general values you must hold onto with all your might. Love God and love people.
First, love God above all else. Fasten your relationship with Him. Read and meditate on His Word for in its pages are all you need for life and godliness. Pray often…God already knows but prayer expresses you complete dependence on Him…fully rely on him. Ministry is very rewarding but extremely challenging. You cannot do this in your own strength…it is a supernatural understanding. Realize the ministry is His…the church was bought with the precious blood of Christ. He is the Head of the body which you save. Honor Him above all else.
Second, love people. After God, love your wife and children. Honor them for above all other earthly relationships. They are your first and primary ministry calling. Always support them; especially in public…it is difficulty living in a “glass house”. Spend time with them…date your wife and cultivate your relationship with her. Spend time with your children…play with them, pray with them, go to games, and talk with them. Encourage them to share their faith by their actions and their words.
Love the people under your change, they are your responsibility and you will give an account to the King for them. Develop a ministry team. Delegate; allow others the opportunity to develop their gifts. Don’t be afraid of failure. Develop an accountability group amongst the leaders. It takes great courage to be vulnerable with other men. Pray together, challenge one another with the Word. Ask the Lord questions of each other. This will open your growth and theirs.
Love the lost. Don’t shy away from biblical truth but let people know you are genuinely concerned for their well-being. Let them know that Christ died as the atoning sacrifice for their sin because God loved the world. Let them know that you accept them where they are. Let them know that God accepts them where they are.
Above all else…never compromise the gospel for the sake of relationships. People will listen to even the hard truth if they know you truly came for them.