A dear Facebook friend and former students responded with this comment: “Very intriguing… I would love to hear your wisdom on how a 1st time pastor can avoid falling into this trap.”
Here is my response to him: Your question was an excellent one… I remember (although it’s been a long time ago ) what it was like to work out my own cycle and expression of pastoral ministry… Sometimes I felt like I was “flying solo for the first time” – completely on my own! So I took a little while this morning and did “Bartel’s 7 + 1 guidelines of how to avoid becoming a lazy preacher.” Hope you find this helpful… “From an ol’ guy”…
1. Identify a Spiritually healthy, effective ministry mentor and be accountable to them.
2. Be faithful in prayer.
3. Be diligent in preparation and proclamation of God’s Word.
4. Be careful to serve the spiritual and nurture needs of your congregation.
5. Involve yourself personally in evangelism and discipleship.
6. Keep your Spiritual “reservoir” full through your devotional life.
7. Don’t neglect the care of your body.
8. Don’t avoid what might be considered menial tasks because “you’re too important to do them”– pitch in and fulfill the “role of a servant.”