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I am way too young to be called a sage, but I don’t get called young any more either. So while there is better advice to be found, here are some pointers from me for young preachers:

1. Get to know God. Never settle for knowing about God. Make it your life’s greatest ambition to really know and love the God who loves you.

2. Be a Bible person, not an issue person. It is tempting to let certain issues define your ministry, but these will shift over the years. Instead of choosing a pet issue, develop an infectious passion for the Bible.

3. Determine never to be a glory thief. Decide now that showing off has no place in your preaching. Always point listeners to Christ and not to yourself. God delights to lovingly give glory, but never steal it.

4. Learn to discriminate feedback. People will praise a public speaker. You are more likely to lose your way through hyped-up praise than through nasty criticism. Learn to pursue and process genuinely helpful feedback.

5. Don’t let your homiletical skill get ahead of biblical and theological awareness. People will praise a public speaker, but they need a preacher who is biblically and theologically healthy.

6. Don’t let your ministry profile get ahead of your character. Let your ministry move forward at God’s pace; otherwise you may get a profile too heavy for your character to bear.

7. Be proactive but not self-promotional. Look for opportunities to serve, learn and grow, but be wary of leaving God behind as you chase “more strategic ministry.”

8. Learn to read wisely. Invest time in reading quality rather than quantity, widely rather than just your favorite author, and selectively rather than getting stuck in books you no longer want to finish. Prioritize books over blogs!

9. Do not journey alone. Preaching is often a lonely ministry. Prayerfully pursue mentors and prayer partners who can speak into your life. Find a string of Bible read-through partners and chase God together in His Word.

10. Have a lifelong conversation with God. There are too many technically capable and theologically informed preachers who have no meaningful relationship with God.



Peter Mead is involved in the leadership team of a church plant in the UK. He serves as director of Cor Deo—an innovative mentored ministry training program—and has a wider ministry preaching and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net and recently authored Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation (Christian Focus, 2014). Follow him on Twitter

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Jerry Shirley

commented on Mar 2, 2015

Great challenge for all of us, no matter how long we have been at it.

Jerry Tanner

commented on Mar 2, 2015

Good reminders, even for the older heads. Thanks

Harry Love

commented on Mar 2, 2015

Even though I am now drawing Social Security, the foundational truths shared are on target for all ages. I'm afraid too many of us older preachers will "amen" this, but those who need to consume may be to busy doing their own thing. (The crux of the article!)

Daniel C. Malloy

commented on Mar 3, 2015

11. Make enemies. Preaching should be prophetic, and people, especially Gods people, hate prophets. We are not here to be liked, we are here to be hated, and we will be, if we are speaking, teaching and speaking the truth.

Douglas Hallman

commented on Mar 3, 2015

Take time to EARN the name "Pastor". The new pastor - young or old - in a church must EARN trust and respect. It does not come automatically with the turf, and the process is repeated with every new family that comes to your church.

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