Before we can make any plans for the church, we must know the sheep well. Take every opportunity to become familiar with members of your church. Don’t rush into your action plans too quickly. – from the book 7 Lessons for New Pastors, page 96
Matthew D. Kim wrote this helpful book after his first year as a senior pastor. Since I believe that God might be leading me to be a senior pastor, I thought it would be a good idea to do some reading on others’ experiences as new senior pastors.
Dr. Kim offers 7 good tips for new senior pastors. The first couple chapters are about making sure you are called to be a pastor and the importance of finding the right church. Then he moves into how to acclimate to the pastor’s life and gives some good tips on creating good habits. Dr. Kim shares that the most important habit for a pastor is a strong prayer life. He says: Prayer is priceless in the life of a pastor. It is the glue that holds everything together…Without prayer, we lack God’s love and power. Without prayer, we will be empty on the inside and have nothing left to give our parishioners. Without prayer, we cease to be pastors (page 53).
Chapter five is about how to develop your leadership skills. He gives some good ideas on how to create and cast vision and the importance of developing leaders. He shares that to be effective, learn to develop leaders and delegate responsibility…the church should be able to thrive without us. That is the proper test of whether we have produced quality lay leaders (page 83).
In chapter six, Dr. Kim shares some great tips on how to love your congregation. He says: ministry is people. It is people that make the calling of ministry valuable and worthwhile (page 93). It is so easy to lose sight of that. To get caught up in doing stuff and to forget that its all about people. Dr. Kim shares some great ideas on how to get to know your congregation and to really get to know their stories.
And finally, in chapter 7, Dr. Kim shares his advice on how to be ready for when the unexpected happens. What to do when tragedy strikes. What to do when you get unusual and unexpected requests. And how to resist unexpected temptations.
All in all, I thought this was a great book that would be beneficial for anyone who is moving into a senior pastor role. Check it out.