“The Most Common Mistakes Made by TMS Graduates in Their First Ministry After Seminary Graduation”

This list was handed out at a TMS graduation luncheon a year or two ago.  It may be helpful or thought-provoking for some, both pastors and others.  It’s interesting how each mistake has a universal principle behind it that can apply to anyone.

  1. Attempting to out-MacArthur MacArthur — going beyond reasonable extremes set by John.
  2. Exhibiting impatience — especially with existing church government.
  3. Quitting too soon — first opposition with the pastor.
  4. Trying to make other churches exact replicas of Grace Community Church.
  5. Attempting to be John F. MacArthur III in every aspect of ministry.
  6. Studying too much, to the exclusion of adequate shepherding.
  7. Failing to realize one must earn respect as a pastor by being a pastor.
  8. Believing that time at Grace Community Church and The Master’s Seminary guarantees a growing, vibrant church and then becoming greatly discouraged when that does not happen.
  9. Unwilling to start in a small and/or unimpressive ministry — “God owes me” or “I deserve” mentality.
  10. Making major doctrinal changes in ministry that stray from what was taught at The Master’s Seminary.
  11. Violating promises made or deviating from expectations given during the candidating process.
  12. Unwilling to accept people as they are and let God change them into what they ought to be.
  13. Trying to act like a veteran pastor in one’s rookie ministry.
  14. Underestimating the value of being a “peace-maker.”
  15. Not managing one’s family well.

4 thoughts on ““The Most Common Mistakes Made by TMS Graduates in Their First Ministry After Seminary Graduation”

  1. 16. losing the disciplined and structured life that you were forced to adopt throughout seminary.

    I would say that that would be one of my biggest struggles since graduating.

  2. Gunner,

    I’ve lost your email address and was hoping to get together with you while in town over the next few days.



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