(More on the list of what ministers ought to know. See the earlier post.)
11. Be very careful about what you say in humor. You never know what a person has gone through in her/his early years.
12. Avoid self-pity. You are not the only one who works hard and who doesn’t get support at work. Nothing is more pathetic than a minister who is full of self-pity.
13. Read! Read for comfort. Read to be challenged. This is essential for freshness.
14. Know that you are dispensable. Don’t take yourself too serious. After all, if you are hit by a Dr. Pepper truck today, the church will soon replace you.
15. Guard what comes from your mouth. When people tell you something, it is critical that you keep their trust. Ask yourself before speaking, “If this person knew I was about to tell what she said yesterday, would she be surprised or even hurt?”
16. Cultivate and nurture your friendships. This work can be very, very lonely. Your friends will help you get through.
17. Take advantage of e-mail. It is a great way to communicate details. However, it is no substitute for a real, face to face conversation.
18. Play to your strengths. No one can do everything well. What do you do particularly well?
19. Know where the land mines are in the church. Believe me—they are there.
20. Stay away from anything that even remotely resembles manipulation. Remember that love and manipulation are two very different ways of treating people.