What Makes Pastoral Ministry Enjoyable?

September 25, 2017

by Kent Hughes

When considering what makes pastoral ministry enjoyable, I have to choose from among several things. I loved preaching every week. I preached lectio continua: one sermon after another out of a book of the Bible. So, it was always an adventure for me; it was always exciting to do that. I also loved dedicating and baptizing children over the years, doing weddings, and fulfilling many joyful pastoral responsibilities.

However, the thing that probably gave me the greatest overall joy in pastoral ministry was investment in my colleagues. When I was at College Church, we had the opportunity to have a number of staff members, and I did a few important things with them.

When the elders and I would hire someone, we always tried to invite someone to come and serve that I considered to be better than me. We hired people with really great capabilities, and then I would give them a lot of freedom to do their work creatively in their particular area of ministry. That philosophy ended up working very well for us.

Then I invested in these fellow workers. For staff meetings every week, we would gather for an hour at a staff member’s house for prayer. Whoever was hosting would then choose a restaurant. We’d go there for an hour and a half to read the paper, talk about sports and politics—not much church business. Then, we would come to the church and have a more formal agenda. We’d go through all of our business, each person reporting on their area of ministry and everyone interacting. We’d have minutes taken and then given to each one by lunch. So I had a lot of time invested on Tuesdays, from about 7:00 in the morning until 10:30 or 11:00 at night, with my colleagues. I also asked all of them to attend elders meetings to help them participate in the life of the church. . . .

. . .continue reading at Crossway.

Kent Hughes

Dr. Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of practical theology at WTS.

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