• Understand the heart of your people. That includes understanding each congregation’s unique culture and learning the church’s expectations, Henry said.
  • Serve with a shepherd/servant heart. “Some of our pastors think they are too big to get in there with the people and have a CEO mentality,” he cautioned. “It’s very important to be close to your people; they’ve got to know you love them.”
  • Listen to wise counsel. “All of us preachers make mistakes. We have clay feet. We don’t know everything,” he acknowledged. “Get close to the wise men of the church.”
  • Wear humility as a badge of honor. “All of us have to fight the demon of pride,” Henry said. “If you’re going to pastor in a noble way, you must do it with humility.”
  • “Make your own butter.” He exhorted pastors, “Don’t preach somebody else’s sermons. Avoid plagiarism.” He added, “Pastor, you have to make prayer and study a priority. That requires three things: work, discipline and a plan.”
  • Be careful about chasing the latest church fad. “God does not take a cookie cutter and say, ‘This is what I want to happen in every church.’”
  • Make much of Jesus. “After we’re gone, Jesus is still there,” Henry concluded. “It’s all about Jesus; it’s not about us. We’re just His messenger boys for a season.”

Trennis Henderson is editor of the Western Recorder, newsjournal of the Kentucky Baptist Convention

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