This year, I celebrated my 35th year in full-time ministry. I rejoice over God’s faithfulness through the years, but I’m also aware that I’m always one step away from falling. When I think about that reality, I’d love to convene a group of pastors with 40+ years of ministry behind them and ask them these questions:
- How many times have you wanted to quit ministry? Maybe the answer is “0,” but I’d be surprised if that’s the case. I’d like to know that I’m not the only one who’s thought about it.
- Do you regret any of the ministry moves you’ve made? It’s always easiest to evaluate our moves after we’ve made them – and I’m not sure we always approve of our choices after the fact.
- What’s been your “secret” to avoiding falling? If they’ve made it this long without allowing the enemy to capture them, I want their secret to be known.
- What’s been the biggest mistake you’ve made in ministry? I might have already made bigger ones, but I still need to learn from others.
- What’s been your biggest joy in ministry? All of us need reasons and hopes to celebrate.
- Knowing what you know now, what would you say to yourself when you first started ministry? I’d tell myself, “Regardless of how good you think you are, you’re not God’s gift to His kingdom.”
- Would your spouse say that you’ve placed her above your ministry? If she says, “yes,” how have you made your priority clear? No matter how old I get, I need to keep learning in this area.
- What’s your strategy for consistent Bible reading and prayer? My strategy is much stronger than 20 years ago, but I’m open to hear from anyone who’s been faithful in these areas.
- How have you kept intentional evangelism in your life? I doubt everyone has. Still, I want to learn through others’ struggles.
- What one book other than the Bible has most influenced your life? I may need to read it . . . .
- What’s your plan for maximizing the rest of your ministry? I’m asking that very question of my life even as I write this post.
- Would you do it all again? I can only wonder what honest responses would reveal here.
What questions would you add to this list? If you’re a pastor with more than 40 years experience, help us out – answer a couple of the questions for us!