Young men, be teachable. You do not know everything. And your theology and your position are never licenses for authoritarianism. If you don’t want others to look down on your youth, don’t look down on their age.
At conferences and other speaking engagements I often meet young men in the ministry who say things like, “I’m in a church where the gospel isn’t important.” They are looking for advice. “How do I,” they want to know, “as an assistant or intern, influence my pastor or elder board toward more faithful gospel-centrality?” The first steps are these: be submissive, be humble, be subject to your elders, and listen more than you talk. Your pastor may not be as gospel-centered as you’d like, but if he is a Christian who’s been pastoring for a while, he still possesses a wisdom that will benefit you greatly.
Church planting is not franchising a way of doing church. It is planting the gospel that creates the church. Sometimes we get too excited about the prospect of spreading our church brand that we forget it is the gospel of Jesus that must be at the core of our church planting endeavors.
Some pastors flight around from one church to another, never settling anywhere for long. They are like migratory birds; they change locations with the seasons. These pastors tend to treat ministry like a sprint (or a stepping stone) and not the marathon it is.
Don’t study to prepare sermons; study to know the truth, to rejoice in the glory and grace of God, and to be conformed to His will. Sermons should never be the primary goal of your Bible study; they should only be the overflow of it. When you study, seek an accurate understanding of who God is and what He expects—first and foremost, this is for your own devotion and holiness. And then, from the abundance, instruct your people, urging them to follow you as you follow the Truth, written and Incarnate.