9 Things that Won’t Make Us Better Pastors – And 4 That Will

bananasI 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 a growing relationship with our church
  4. A strong a 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?

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(Sad/Happy Bananas photo from Svein Halvor Halvorsen • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

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7 thoughts on “9 Things that Won’t Make Us Better Pastors – And 4 That Will”

  1. Pastor Richard C.Shine

    Well stated you must be committed to the Lord in word and action 29/9 which means all the time, and stop looking for approval from man , but wait to hear from the LORD

  2. I find that trying to reach out to the shut ins, the sick/healing and the lonely opens doors to encouraging and witnessing. I do this by visiting, listening, talking and often taking my guitar to play and sing a song or two. Jeff W.

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