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preaching article 9 Things That Won’t Make Us Better Pastors ... and 4 That Will

9 Things That Won’t Make Us Better Pastors ... and 4 That Will

based on 5 ratings
Jun 2, 2015


I want to be a better pastor.

I’m always doing everything I can to put more tools in my pastoral tool belt. I read the best books I can find, I seek out wise counsel, I take classes and go to seminars. All of these practices have helped me become a better pastor—some more than others.

But along the way I’ve discovered that there are a handful of things many of us strive for that will do nothing to make us better pastors.

I’ve also discovered a list of things that we all know, but sometimes overlook, that will always make us better pastors—and people.

The first list is not exhaustive—it never will be. But I think the second one is. I offer both of them in simple lists because each one stands on its own.

What Will Not Make Us Better Pastors

  1. More people in our church
  2. More money in the offering
  3. A bigger building
  4. A bigger staff
  5. A better worship team
  6. A better website
  7. More invitations to preach/teach at camps, conferences and seminars
  8. Comparing ourselves with other pastors and churches
  9. An appearance on anyone’s list of biggest, greatest or most influential churches

Most of those things aren’t wrong in themselves. Many of them can be a blessing. But if you think you need any of them to have a better church or be a better pastor, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

What Will Make Us Better Pastors—and People

  1. A strong and growing relationship with Jesus
  2. A strong and growing relationship with our family
  3. A strong and growing relationship with our church
  4. A strong and growing relationship with people outside the church

The Basics Matter

Are you surprised by those lists? Probably not. Disappointed by them? I hope not.

Are they worth reconsidering every once in a while? For sure.

It’s easy to get lost chasing the newest, coolest or biggest thing. Or hanging on to old, stale methods. But nothing matters more than the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

So what do you think? What would you add to the list?

Karl Vaters is the author of The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking That Divides Us. He’s been in pastoral ministry for over 30 years and has been the lead pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California for over 20 years. He’s also the founder of NewSmallChurch.com, a blog that encourages, connects and equips innovative Small Church pastors.

Talk about it...

Stephen Belokur avatar
Stephen Belokur
0 days ago
Excellent, especially the 2nd list! God is all about relationships. Not relationships at the expense of the Gospel but relationships driven by love for God and the Gospel. Thank you for the article. PTL!
Ronald Johnson avatar
Ronald Johnson
0 days ago
Great reminders.
Ken Blondeaux avatar
Ken Blondeaux
0 days ago
Refreshing, and what I needed at this moment!
Nhlanhla Mthembu avatar
Nhlanhla Mthembu
0 days ago
Great article. Thank you
Tony Bland avatar
Tony Bland
0 days ago
hummm... i was thinking that i number 4 bigger staff would free my time and then i could be better...no?
Taiwo Opajobi avatar
Taiwo Opajobi
0 days ago
Our academic qualification will not make us better pastor, the location of our church will not either. Thanks.
Dale C avatar
Dale C
0 days ago
Karl Says: A strong and growing relationship with our family. .......I would like to see a 5th being more specific. A strong and growing relationship with our wife.
Helio Fabio Castro avatar
Helio Fabio Castro
0 days ago
Be better every second,minute,time, is our goal to reach what Christ want to ;making the things simply by heart not by what other can do,Christ helps us to succeed when you are humble to everyone and make the impossible to stand in God?s word !

So, what did you think?


Thank you.