Four things Youth Pastors need to focus on when transitioning to Senior Pastor - Part 2 - THE MESSAGE


When you take the position of Senior Pastor there are going to be a lot of important things vying for your time. Each week board meetings, follow up routines, developing budgets, hiring staff, recruiting and training volunteers, hospital visits, developing small group curriculum, and more will be screaming for your attention.  

With all the things that you will want devote your energies to, you have to understand that there is one thing that trumps all the other things on your "to do list" and that is the preaching of Gods word. 

As a Senior Pastor, the most important thing you will do all week is stand in front of your congregation and present the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few scriptures to guide you:

I Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking theoversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Romans 10:14  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

It sounds so obvious that preaching is the most important thing you do as a Senior Pastor, however, take it from a guy who made the transition for Youth Pastor to Senior Leader a little over 4 1/2 years ago, you will have to fight very hard to keep private study and message prep as sacred times in your schedule. 

Here are 5 pieces of advice. 

1. Start Now. 

Begin to place a priority on your message prep now. If you can't protect your schedule as a Youth Pastor overseeing one ministry, you will not be able to flip the switch and do it when you oversee all the ministries of the church. 

2. Block off time to Pray. 

If you think your funny stories or eloquent delivery is going to change a persons heart, you are sadly mistaken. Only God can change a heart. With all the things you will be doing, don't ever be so busy that you don't take time to beg God to anoint each word he wants you to speak to His people. 

3. Protect your personal study time. 

You are good at what you do and you probably have some really good messages on a lot of Bible topics. However, I want to encourage you ... don't just skim over the top of a text. Wrestle with it, wring out every bit of context, truth, and application you can find, before you let it go. You can't do that in 30 minutes. Make the time in your schedule for personal study time and protect it at all costs. 

4. Pick a day to write and prepare. 

What is the day you write your message? Don't let your schedule dictate when you prepare your actual message. Let your message prep be the center point of your week and schedule everything else around it. 

5. Spend time practicing it before you preach it. 

Don't let the first time the words from the page come out of your mouth be when you stand in front of your congregation. Practice. Practice. Practice. Musicians practice before they perform, athletes practice before they play the game, you need to practice before you preach your message. 

Practice the pacing of your words. Practice your voice flexions. Practice the delivery of your message and practice how you use the stage. 

Preaching is the most important thing you will do in ministry all week. Don't wing it! You are not that good and God's word deserves nothing less than your best. 

Hope these few thoughts help you as you prepare for Senior Leadership.