Over four years ago, I wrote about “9 Cautions for Young Church Leaders (and Older Leaders, Too, Actually).” Today, I still occasionally see traits and actions among young leaders (and again, among older leaders, too) that concern me—so I give these additional cautions. 


  1. Don’t presume that questions from lay leaders are always expressions of opposition. Often, they’re just honest questions that the pastor should have answered in the first place.
  2. Don’t let suspicion toward church members overtake your heart. It’s easy to do when you’ve been wounded, but suspicion only eats at our soul.
  3. Don’t assume that everyone else understands that you occasionally need a break from preaching. Do discuss needed Sundays off for renewal and refreshing, but recognize that an older generation is not accustomed to pastors taking Sundays off regularly.
  4. Don’t rely on media and PowerPoint presentations in preaching the Word. I’m not opposed to the use of multimedia (see this post for my thoughts), but nothing should overshadow the Word.
  5. Don’t be late for meetings. You disrespect others and disrupt schedules when you come in late. Generally, only an emergency should make you late for a meeting.
  6. Don’t hide in your office in the name of “study.” Do study – and study well – but preaching well to a congregation requires knowing that congregation. Spend time with them as their shepherd.
  7. Don’t leave tasks unfinished. When you let loose ends remain disconnected, you lose credibility as a leader. Eventually, those who listen to you every Sunday will not trust your word.
  8. Don’t let your living in your Christian liberty harm your witness or lead other believers to fall in their own battles. It’s right to lay aside our liberties for the sake of others—and it’s wrong to so fight for our liberties that we die on those hills.
  9. Don’t decide that a ministry workweek is 40 hours—and no more. I confess that my generation has produced workaholics who sometimes lost their families in the name of ministry. Don’t do that – but do recognize that ministry is just different from a daily 8-5 job.
  10. Don’t tell everybody about every one of your struggles. All of us deeply need somebody who holds us accountable to godly living, and none of us should harbor secrets in our Christian walk. It’s risky, though, when you’re so vulnerable that you tell everybody everything.

What would you add to this list?  First appeared here

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