to a younger self….

‘notes to self’ always interest me!

I never cease to be helped and challenged by this mode of writing. Mark Driscoll hosted a conversation with John Piper about what he’d advise in pastoral ministry. Here is some of the advice he offered:-

I would quote: “Don’t question in the dark what God showed you in the light.” Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company. You are in the pit with King David.

He waited. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction” Psalm 40:1–2. God will do that for you. You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward.

But with God, nothing is impossible.

He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive.

Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.

To that, I’d add: Outrun your people and your colleagues in thinking. That is, stay ahead of them in thinking through biblical implications of what is being said or proposed.

Make a practice of thinking before a meeting. Think of as many implications of a proposal as you can. Think of as many objections to the proposal as you can. Think of good biblical answers to all those objections. Think of how much it will cost and how it will be paid for. Think of who might implement it. Think of the ways that it will bring joy—or temporary sorrow. Think about its relation to a dozen other things that people like or don’t like. Sit with your pencil in your hand (or your fingers on the keyboard) and doodle until you’ve exhausted the possibilities, or the time you have. Go to the meeting having thought more than any one else, and more deeply than anyone else. This is what good leaders do.