A pastor should go to a church with the intentions of planting his life there and only entertain thoughts of moving when he is convinced God is leading him somewhere else. A pastor must refuse to run from trouble. Troubles will come and go but the man of God must stay with the assignment God has given him.
To build a ministry that lasts requires a lot of holy determination coupled with the right attitude. Every church needs to be a growing church. There are many ways to grow in addition to numerical growth. Each church should be an exciting place to worship. The membership of a church should feel that they have the best church in town.
Several suggestions can be offered for building a ministry that lasts:
1. Plant your life there and don't move
Come to the church with the intention of giving it your best. Never look at it as a step toward a bigger church. Refuse to allow critics to run you off. Remember that our Lord had his critics and he was perfect. Put down roots and give it your best effort.
2. Develop a positive attitude toward yourself
If God sent you there you are the best pastor for that church. God can give you the ability to do whatever is necessary to lead that church. Learn to live in the positive attitude of Philippians 4.
3. Develop a positive attitude toward the church
There is no such thing as a big church or a little church in the sight of God. Every church is to be God's representative to that community. The key is to become all that church can be to the glory of God. If you do not become excited about the church, nobody will.
4. Get a vision from the Lord for the church
Pray for the Lord to show you what the church is to become. Read about other churches, talk to other pastors and study your church to prepare your mind for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Share the vision frequently with your people.
5. Lead the church to plan for the future
Lead the church to enter into a planning process. This may require the assistance of an outside consultant. You should come out of the planning process with 4 or 5 objectives for the church. Then goals and action plans must be set to reach these objectives.
6. Revisit the planning process every 3-5 years
Most of the objectives should be accomplished or well on their way in 3-5 years. Instead of coasting, the church needs to dream and plan again.
7. Add staff carefully and prayerfully
As the church grows additional staff may be needed. Other bivocational ministers may be called to lead music, work with youth or children and fill other positions of responsibility as the church deems necessary. A word of caution about staff: be very careful and very prayerful. The wrong person can do a lot of damage and undo some of the hard work that has already been done. Building a good team is a key to continued growth.