20 Lessons I Wish They’d Taught Me in Seminary

By Dr. David W. Manner

  • Even when my ministry position allows me to have the last word it doesn’t have to be mine.
  • I can have a vision for future ministry without denigrating past ministry.
  • If I hoard leadership to receive all the credit when something works, I will also receive all the credit when something doesn’t.
  • Progress at the expense of relationships is not anymore virtuous when the goal is noble.
  • Affirm staff and volunteers in public; evaluate them in private; and pastor them in both places.
  • If you randomly blow ministries up, then you’ll never know where the pieces are going to land.
  • My leadership is not threatened when someone else gets the credit.
  • Those in ministry should take the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.”
  • It is always a better outcome when I err on the side of grace.
  • If I don’t take care of myself spiritually, emotionally and physically no one else will.
  • Not all ministry staff problems originate in someone else’s office.
  • People-generated is always healthier than leader dominated.
  • I should always surround myself with a group of trusted leaders to protect me from my own stupidity.
  • There are lots of other ministries but I only have one family.
  • The end of learning new is the beginning of leading old.
  • Bullying is not more honorable under the pretext of pastoral leadership.
  • I could learn about life and ministry by drinking more coffee with senior adults.
  • My attitude may be the only change necessary in our ministry organization.
  • Ministry success is based more on the in-betweens than the big events.
  • Leadership equilibrium is achieved by making deposits in younger leaders and withdrawals from older leaders.

 

Dr. David W. Manner serves as the Associate Executive Director for Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists with responsibilities in the areas of Worship, Leadership and Administration. Before joining the convention staff in 2000, David served for twenty years in music/worship ministry with congregations in Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma Baptist University; a Master of Church Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies.

About Ron Cook

Ron and his wife Rodetta have been married 39 years. They have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. Ron ministers to hundreds of pastors annually through mentorship, counseling and by phone. He has been a Pastor for 39 years and understands the stress of ministry, and wants to share his longevity in ministry with other pastors and help them finish well.

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