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  • As someone who has been in ministry for 18 years, I can concur with this list. I would say from my experience, #s 1 and 5 are the most glaring. Pastors would do well with more training in the practical side of ministry, which includes what many consider to be the “business side” of church work. In the pastorates where I have served, I have tried to spend a good amount of time educating the church staff and membership that there are really two sides to church work — ministry and business.

  • Andrew Waugh

    how about “failure to maintain non-Christian friendships”?

    • Doug

      Professional Christians. One of the criticisms of Christ by the religious leaders of the day was that he had the audacity to be a “friend” of sinners. Eat dinner with them, etc. Most pastors today don’t personally know one non-believer.

  • E in Texas

    Thom, I am a Pastor’s son and I have heard my father speak of all these issues through the years. My upbringing has positioned me to become close friends with several Pastors I have encountered through my years. I would offer a comment, I think it is covered in your list but not in the context that I want to communicate here, the skill of delegating. Picking the right person to lead a project/task and getting out of their way and accepting the process being different than what you envisioned. You can clearly describe (prescribe) the outcome but normally the “right” person will have a better way of doing the process to accomplish your outcome. It’s when you manage the process that you become a micro-manager and if you can only be happy with your exact vision of the process and outcome, you will make yourself and everyone else miserable. I work with business owners and frequently tell them, “You will never get bigger than that which you cannot let go”, meaning, eventually you will have so many tasks that only you can do, that you will not be able to do a single more thing that is critical for your business and you will stop growing. Churches are no different in that respect.

  • Kurt Bubna

    GREAT post! I wish I would have read this about 30 years ago. Thank you!