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Confessions of a New Pastor

In just a few weeks I will complete my first nine months as Pastor of Hollywood Community Church. Although I have been in ministry for almost thirty years, this is my first Senior Pastorate in the United States. It has been a remarkable experience. Below are some random and sometimes rambling observations of my first nine months as a pastor.

1. I love what I am doing! I can honestly say that I am having the time of my life. One pastor expressed such feelings this way, “A job may pay the bills, but a calling feeds the soul. I am so blessed that I get paid to exercise my obsession.” That is certainly the way that I feel.

2. I am humbled by the love and the praise that my church family heaps on me. There is rarely a day that goes by that I am not showered by love and undeserved praise.

3. I am constantly reminded that I can only do my job and fulfill my calling by the power of the Holy Spirit. This reminder comes after regular failures of trying to do minstry by my own power.

4. I am called to model holiness. WOW! How hard is that? That just might be my most important calling and responsibility as a pastor.

5. Prayer is the most important thing that I do every day.

6. I do not pray enough! Why can’t I begin every day remembering that prayer is the most important thing that I do every day? It’s like I have to learn the lesson over and over again every day.

7. I need more faith!

8. There is not enough time in the day to get everything that I think that I need to get done.

9. My greatest weakness is my inability to realize that my identity is not found in my success as a pastor, but rather in my daily relationship with Jesus Christ.

10. I am continually learning the important role that the pastor’s wife plays in her husband’s ministry. Quite honestly, I could not do my job or fulfill my ministry without the support and the assistance of my wife, Vickie.

11. I must spend more of my time encouraging, mentoring and listening to our staff. They are an extremely talented team and they play a major role in the success of our minsitry.

12. The involvement of lay leaders and volunteers is one of the key ingredients in successful church ministry.

13. I am continually learning the importance of a long-term pastorate. I am praying that God will allow me to spend the rest of my ministry years at Hollywood Community Church.

Well, that is all for now. I am confident that I have much more to learn in the next nine months. Please pray with me and for me that God would enable me to be the servant leader and the loving pastor that God desires for me to be.
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