Of course, no matter what you or I have ever done there is goodness and mercy following us all the days of our lives. But the truth is that the easiest way of living a life without regrets is not to actually do anything you regret. Thom Rainer did a survey of pastors in America and asked them the simple question what do you regret most during your time pastoring. These are the top seven answers:
- Said or wrote something out of anger.
- Obsessed with one or a few critics.
- Failed to admit a mistake.
- Neglected a family member for a church need.
- Pushed an initiative rather than getting buy-in.
- Left a church too soon.
- Focused on/obsessed over another church in the community
If you are new to church leadership or have been pastoring for years, just take the time to read this list slowly, contemplatively, prayerfully. Consider where you are vulnerable. Consider where you might – if you don’t change the train you are on – have regrets where you end up. Do you have a temper? Do you obsess about the one person who moans rather than the people who were saved, healed, encouraged, inspired and challenged? Do you fail to be honest with someone? Have you ever put church above family? Ever acted in a way as to get there first rather than bring as many people with as possible? Ever quit when you shouldn’t have quit? Ever thought more about a church where you don’t go, don’t worship, don’t lead, don’t serve too much?
If so, time to renew your mind, transform your life and minister and pastor. No regrets. Nip it in the bud before it grows all over your garden.