5 Landmines Every Pastor Must Avoid

In ministry there are some hidden obstacles you must avoid.  Some traps that are just out of sight.  I’ve stepped on these landmines and more.  I’m sure you have too.

Below are 5 Landmines we must avoid if we are going to have a long and healthy ministry.

  1. Neglecting your family.

If you love what you do this will be a tension you will always need to manage.  Don’t fall into the trap of giving all your time, energy and attention to the ministry and giving your family what is left over.

You can avoid this by blocking out time on your calendar for your family.  Don’t use up every ounce of creativity and energy for your ministry.  Save a little in the tank for when you are with your wife and kids.  Learn to guard your family time.  Take regular days off.  When you are off, be off.  Be engaged with your family when you are with your family.

  1. Not being intentional about your personal discipleship.

We cannot replace time with God with helping others have a relationship with God.  Make your spiritual discipleship a priority.  Schedule time every day to read the Bible, pray and spend time in God’s presence.  Few things can lead faster to burn out than neglecting your faith.  Here are 5 tips for spiritual growth. 

  1. Trying to do everything yourself and not delegating. 

One of the biggest mistakes I made early in ministry was thinking I could do it all.  I led the large group times, talked to every parent, interacted with every kid.  It wasn’t ego, I just loved ministry.  Now I realize it was lack of trust and immaturity on my part.  I became intentional about building teams, training volunteers and delegating more than just the  brainless mindless work.  Avoid the landmine of trying to do everything and learn to delegate.

  1. Creating your own vision.

Our role in children’s ministry is to serve our Lead Pastor’s vision.  The same is true for every other department in the church.  We exist to serve the Lead Pastor.  Our primary function is to assist him in shepherding the congregation.  Remember we represent the lead pastor in everything we do.  Your department should be moving the same direction as the rest of the church.  The direction set by the Pastor.

  1. Never attending the adult service.

As a young leader I didn’t realize the importance of attending the adult worship experience on a regular basis.  When you don’t make this a priority not only does it lead to feelings of discontent and disconnection.  You miss out on building relationships, growing with the church body, and aligning your ministry with the rest of the church.  If you are not regular attending the adult worship service you need to read, Why I Stopped Attending Church Services.

As leaders we must be aware of the hidden obstacles that can hurt us or hurt others we care about.

What Do You Think?

Which of the 5 landmines do you need to work on first.  Are there other things you would add to this list?

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About the Author

Andrew VanDerLinden

Andrew is the Executive Pastor at Community Church in Eastern PA.

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