Saturday, January 28, 2012

Staying Fresh

A friend asked me how I keep enjoying being a parish pastor for so long? That question, in itself, made me pause. Is it that long? I guess both time and age become increasingly relative over the years. I don't think of myself as either old or long-timer. But I guess when I do the math and start counting post-seminary pastoring years, it's soon 32 and if I add the part-time youth pastoring/interning years, it's 36! Yikes!
So what's worked? Here is a list of things that work over the long haul:
1. Keeping the daily devotional well clear and fresh
2. Prayer
3. Read (current and dead people)
4. Have a couple of good friends
5. Expect sabotage
6. Learn to lose graciously and let it go
7. Be OK with being wrong (correctable)
8. Learn to negotiate
9. Play regularly
10. Learn new things
11. Find "reverse mentors" (younger people who can teach you)
12. Don't take yourself too seriously
13. Be open to and critique all new church trends
14. Practice personal sabbath rest
15. Cultivate generosity (tithe to the local church you serve)
16. Embrace interruptions
17. Critique your own personal entitlements
18. Always be open to change
19. Say thank you without needing to get credit
20. Take vacations away


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