I begin year twenty as the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church on July 1. I as sometimes asked about the “secrets” of a long and effective ministry in one place. Don’t know that I have any great secrets, perhaps I am not that smart, but I will share some core values:
1. Remember your call. When things get tough, remember why you got into this.
2. Keep your marriage strong. If that is bad, everything is bad.
3. Stay in the Word. Reading the Bible from cover to cover every other year or so is a great discipline.
4. Keep learning. Read. Attend conferences. Get a coach. Keep getting better.
5. Never forget you are in the people business. You can’t just sit in your office and be brilliant all the time. You have to add value to the lives of others.
6. Don’t take things personally. Choosing not to get your feelings hurt is essential.
7. Hold it steady. Remember that God has you, your ministry and your family.
8. Realize you can’t cheat the hours necessary for excellent work. Work hard.
9. If God does bless your ministry, don’t get all full of yourself. The second you get thinking you are all that and a bag of communion wafers, you are finished.
10. Keep it real. Just be an authentic human being who loves Jesus that God called to lead. People can not only handle that, they will embrace it.
11. Don’t ignore problems. Address them quickly.
13. Remember that if God called you, you can’t quit. He can release you but you can’t quit.
14. Admit your mistakes. Offer forgiveness. Accept forgiveness.
15. Have fun. If you are not having a good time, no one else will be either.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997.