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I have been a pastor for about 15 years now, and it has mostly been a fantastic journey with some of the best people on the planet. I did not attend seminary or have much formal training when I started out, but I sure wish someone had told me these ten things in the beginning.

1. Sheep bites can’t kill me, but the gnawing will make life miserable a few days each year.

2. No matter how hard I try, I will always be tempted to measure my success by attendance numbers.

3. The best thing I can do to build and grow God’s kingdom is to be myself and not compare myself to others.

4. It takes a long time to become old friends so nurture and cherish the old friendships God has given me.

5. I will only have as much spiritual authority as I am willing to submit to myself. Independence will destroy me, but there is power in submission.

6. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Challenge people to go deeper even when the message is unpopular.

7. My brain will always feel like scrambled eggs on Sunday afternoon so don’t make any major decisions until Tuesday morning.

8. Some people will only trust you after a really long time of proving yourself, and another group will never trust you no matter what you do.

9. Don’t feel guilty about taking a Sabbath. It was not a suggestion.

10. I will never regret spending time with my family instead of saying yes to a church meeting that someone else could lead.

I hope this is helpful to other young leaders who are launching out into ministry. What are some of things you wish someone had told you before you started ministry in the local church?

Brady is the lead pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. He is married to his college sweetheart Pam and is the dad to two great kids, Abram and Callie. He has just written a book called Fear No Evil and he's really serious about caring for the people of Colorado Springs by opening numerous Dream Centers.

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James Bailey

commented on Jun 29, 2011

These are great observations--I suspect after another 15 years Brady will have several more to add. Young preachers need to hear these things before they are discouraged enough to quit. You might want to also read "Bottle Babies Beneath the Belfry" (buy on Amazon or Ebay) a rather humourous look at people you will meet at church --better to read about them now, than run into them cld turkey.

John Crowder

commented on Jun 29, 2011

I agree with James that young ministers need to hear these principles early on. I particularly appreciate the first one because it is so easy for us (me) to over-react when a sheep bites. I also appreciate the final one a great deal. I have heard a lot of retired pastors say, "If I could go back start all over, I would spend more time with my family." I decided early on to learn vicariously and make sure I could never make that statement. I am a Christian, a husband, a father, and a pastor -- in that order. Thanks Brady.

Thomas D. Weill

commented on Jun 29, 2011

A word to the wise . . . good advice and yes, I wish someone would have told me also. By God's grace we have made it thru 45 years pastoring. Keeping your eyes on the Lord and having His guidance, you will make it too!

Colin Bain

commented on Jun 30, 2011

Great article. Just working through James 4:1-10 this week. I learned (again!) that humility is seeing for real with God. The more obedience to God, not boards and beggars, the more peace, and spiritual success. I just can't do it all. And thats ok as long as it is in line with seeing for real what God is doing. 13 years in ministry.

Saul Dela Cruz

commented on Jun 30, 2011

A challenging article, the bible says "obedience is better than sacrifice." Being a servant of God our principle must based on (FATS) faithful, available, teachable and submissive.

Apollos Githinji

commented on Jul 5, 2011

Some of these lessons may never be effect fully learnt by sitting under a great teacher but comes after some years of experience and walk with God. thank God that some of us will not need to go through what you had to go through now that you have shared your lessons with us.we are in need of more mentors in ministry. God bless

Dr Robert Ballard

commented on May 9, 2018

The one I would add is "Love all your flock and let them know you love them." Expect times of tension but love will conquer. Also, assume those who oppose you love their church so try your best to see this issue from their point of view.

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