mine-ours-or-his
You may feel beaten down, worn out or even rebellious because of a negative situation, but it offers you a chance to learn. (creationswap.com)

My first paid position in ministry was as a part-time youth pastor while I was in seminary. The church had been outstanding at one time, but it was in a long, slow decline. While the pastor was kind to give me the job, he became a negative role model for me.

Young ministers don’t always realize they may be able to learn as much from a negative example as from a positive one. Even though an early experience in ministry might be negative, if they can survive, they will be OK. They just need to make sure they learn not to be like their first “mentor.”

The pastor I first served under was a great preacher, but he had a strong ego. Everything in the church was his. There is a legitimate use for the expression “my church,” but with him, it really meant that everything belonged to him. He even introduced me by saying, “I want you to meet my youth pastor.”

I confess to having a rebellious streak that wants to push back at things I don’t like. And I would be saying under my breath, “I am not your youth pastor. The reason this church is in trouble and declining is that everything is yours. I am the Lord’s youth pastor; this church is His, and it’s not yours.”

Obviously, I didn’t stay there for long. But I never took issue with him in public. My job was not to undermine his leadership. If you ever find yourself somewhere that you just can’t live with the authority in place, you need to get out.

My negative experience helped shape a good habit in me. When I became a pastor, I tried to avoid using the first-person singular personal pronoun. It was “our church” or “the Lord’s church.” I introduced staff members as “our youth pastor” or “the youth pastor of the church.” I avoided any nomenclature that suggested everything is mine.

Even bad experiences are good experiences. You may feel beaten down, worn out or even rebellious because of a negative situation, but it offers you a chance to learn. God refines and teaches us through having to submit, for instance, to someone who is unfair, egotistical or self-serving. By humbly accepting a less-than-desirable state of affairs, you can grasp valuable lessons that might not sink in as well under better circumstances.

George O. Wood is the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit