My Seven Worst Mistakes as a Pastor

"...there is a huge reason for not going into a litany of our pastoring mistakes: God works even in our mistakes and can make good emerge from them. As a result, even though we look back and see the times we dropped the ball, we give thanks for what He accomplished through it all." - C.Leaders

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Wayne Wilson's picture

Well, I made a lot bigger mistakes then these over the years.

Don Johnson's picture

Most of this list is self-centered garbage 

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

TylerR's picture


Not too much here that is meaningful.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

T Howard's picture

Perhaps most of the mistakes mentioned are "self-centered garbage." But two of them are not:

  1. I wish I had become a better, more disciplined student of the Word.
  2. I failed to master the craft of preaching early enough.

Brother Pastors, your preaching ought to be of paramount importance to you. There are other things to do in ministry, and we must do them to be faithful pastors. But none of them is treated as solemnly and forcefully by the Apostle Paul as this one simple exhortation: "Preach the Word."

Larry's picture


I think the list has some interesting things in it. Of course, when a person lists mistakes they have made, it would be expected to be self-centered.

I think finding a mentor earlier in life and listening is one of the top things. We used to call it discipleship and probably still should. I think praying more consistently and being a more devoted soul-winner are excellent things. Becoming a disciplined student of the word and honing the craft of preaching is also good. Publishing earlier is almost always a bad idea. I think it was Tim Keller who commented that publishing as a young author leaves too much room to mature and change your mind. 

As for self-confidence? Yeah whatever. 

Don Johnson's picture

The soul winning point is valid, and perhaps more diligence at study, but really, are these the *worst* mistakes of a pastoral ministry? What about misunderstanding a situation and giving bad counsel? What about making leadership errors that cost the church financially or, God forbid, spiritually? I could go on. 

the general sense I have from this list is that it is self centered fluff of very little real consequence 

these are the seven *worst* mistakes the guy made? We should all be so perfect 

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3