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Generally, long-term pastor tenures are better than short-term pastor tenures. The context where the pastor ministers can impact the tenure. The church body can impact tenure. And the pastor can impact tenure length. Here are eight ways pastors can cultivate their long-term tenures.
Elevate your family above your career. You simply cannot overestimate the importance of family stability. Your family is not a quantifiable metric in the decision to transition or not. One wise mentor once told me, “If your wife ain’t called, then you ain’t called.” He’s right. Your family is the front line of your ministry. They come first. If they want to stay, then in the vast majority of cases, you should not lead them to another place of ministry.
Stop - Fulfillment - Size - Church - Church
Stop basing fulfillment on the size of your church. A 2,000-attendance church is not more fulfilling than a 200-attendance church. Your worth to Christ is not dependent on the size of your church. Success is no longer about “arriving” at the large county seat churches like it was in the 1960s. Quite frankly, such ideas should not have existed back then. They certainly shouldn’t exist now.
Live in the community where you pastor. I once consulted a church where the pastor left after several years because he simply did not connect with the community. He lived thirty minutes outside of the city from where his church was to get more house for his money. It’s hard to love a community if you don’t live there. Additionally, some communities are easier to love than others. A New Englander might have to work to love the Deep South. A Southerner might get culture shock in Miami. Californians know that the northern part of the state is quite different than the southern part of the state. To love a place over time, you...
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