- Seen it all. Been there, done that. You haven't. The next surprise is just around the bend.
- Learned how to deal with what you see. You haven't.
- Overcome your major weaknesses. I don't think you ever will. Not totally.
- Said everything that needs saying. Nope. It has to be continually repeated and then there's no guarantee it sticks.
- Stopped making the same mistakes. Some, yes. Some, no.
- Earned enough trust that the hurting and troubled will rush to you for help when in need. No. It seems so many want to take it to the limit before saying "Help".
- Made the vision clear and plain enough that everybody gets it. Not if you're church is growing. And face it, some are never going to get it.
- Mastered the tough talks. Never.
- Become used to the "Pastor, I hate to bother you with this" conversations. But, no, your stomach still knows how to tie itself in knots.
- Accepted that no matter how you say it, someone is going to misunderstand, take it personally or take it the wrong way. But you just shake your head a lot in disbelief.
- Stopped expecting every believer to be totally and completely and passionately committed to Christ and his church. Yet, you still have that hope that this Sunday it will happen for them.
- Figured out that whether your sermon is topical, textual or expository, someone's going to think it was the greatest of all time and someone else thinks they aren't getting fed. When will they learn to pick up the fork and knife on their own?
- Discovered the key to finding the balance in your sermons so that the new believers who are on a roll continue and the old believers who have stagnated have been stirred up. That's tricky.
But still, pastoring, if anything, is the art of controlled frustration. Best thing to do is give the control over to the Chief Shepherd. Otherwise you'll physically and emotionally wear out.
"And that's all I have to say about that." - Forrest Gump, Wise Man