Thank you all, dear readers, for your words of encouragement last week when I was informed that I would be appointed to a church. Ya'll gave me lots of very good advice. I particularly liked Mark Winter's:
THOU SHALT NOT alter the order of worship in any way right off the bat.
THOU SHALT NOT preach grace to the exclusion of obedience, or vice versa.
THOU SHALT NOT get lazy in spiritual disciplines but continue to grow through study, Bible meditation, prayer and fasting, so that thy congregation might see the glory of the Lord on thy face and want some of it for themselves.
THOU SHALT be with the people, but thou shalt also have boundaries with thy flock, lest they interrupt thy dinner continually and call thee on vacation.
THOU SHALT lead and not just maintain the status quo, for the sheep always need to move toward greener pastures.
THOU SHALT help the congregation understand that thy wife may not be able to play the piano, teach Sunday school, quilt and smile 24/7.
THOU SHALT develop strong tastebuds and sample everything from the churchwide potlucks, lest thou offend Susie Pearl and Emma Mae.
THOU SHALT diligently study the Book of Discipline, but do not preach from the Book of Discipline or thy congregation shalt fall asleep.
THOU SHALT be remembered fondly among the young ones if thou bringest thy bunny occasionally to the children's sermon.
THOU SHALT offer them Christ and not just "church membership."
Written always with Mark's unique brand of humor. And since this is an occasional humor blog:
What is the worst advice that you have to give me about my first few days and weeks in my student appointment?