5 Things I Miss MOST About Being Lead Pastor

christianity personal

It's been over three years since I was last on staff at a church and I ended my season in full-time ministry as a Lead Pastor. While I wouldn't want to go back, I sometimes miss it, so I thought I would share a few of the things I miss the most.

1. Bringing people along on a journey: I loved how each week felt like we were building on the week before. I felt like I was able to help create an environment for ideas to thrive. We would establish the value of something like bringing our Bibles on the weekend (yes... we had to establish that) and then I'd watch as people started bringing their Bibles with them on the weekend. For good and bad, much of the Bible is about groups of people trying to move closer to God together.

2. Teaching through a series: I loved developing longer teaching ideas that would take weeks to develop. I also loved working on the teaching calendar throughout the year as we determined what needs and issues we wanted to address in our community. Most of the preaching I do in churches these days is a week at a time (although I recently was able to do a 5-week series) so I don't get the same experience. Preaching through series after series allowed me to invest deeply in discipleship. Watching people mature in their faith was incredibly moving.

3. The weekend energy: While I would see many people from the church throughout the week, the weekend often felt like a celebration where we'd all get together. It was a weekly touch point to connect with lots of people. It felt like so much of the week was building for our larger communal gathering. As a kid, I thought it was weird that people would dress up for church, but I eventually saw this as an expression of excitement for many. They came to our gatherings with expectations. This weekly experience is hard to replicate outside of the church.

4. Doing ministry with friends: Working toward something meaningful with some of your favorite people was a profound experience. While it often presents different challenges, it rarely felt like there were clear lines between when we were working or just enjoying being together. The memories of working with friends in that way are something I cherish.

5. Creating a tangible opportunity for new people to experience Jesus: I loved trying to tailor all that we did and each of our spaces to people who were not yet a part of our community. It gave our regular church members a specific way to engage with their friends about their faith and then gave them an opportunity to follow through on it. Someone telling me how Jesus made sense to them for the first time is one of my favorite things.

And stay tuned for next week, when I'll share 5 things I miss the LEAST about being a Lead Pastor.

That list is a bit spicier.

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