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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6 BIG Mistakes I've Made pt. 4

6. Not taking care of myself: The first two to three years of People's Church were very demanding and exhausting. We began with 65 people on grand opening Sunday. I was on the setup and teardown team every Sunday. Tiffany and I were constantly entertaining new families in our home. I carried a portion of the weekly administrative load. I called every first-time guest. Tiffany and I and the only other staff member we had dropped off a gift to every first-time guest’s home (sometimes this was a 30 to 40 minute drive one way to one home). I taught the new member class once a month. I was studying and preaching every Sunday. I didn't receive any type of salary from the church for almost a year and didn't receive a full-time salary for almost two years. On top of starting a new church, I was traveling full-time as an evangelist/speaker around America to make ends meet personally and for the church. The early days of People’s Church were a grueling season for me and my wife. If I had it all over again, here are some things I would do differently to take better care of myself.

1. I would have eaten better: Even though I've always worked out consistently, I picked up weight during hectic seasons. At one point, I got to 207 pounds. Today, I'm around 190 pounds. I must admit that I love food and have a tendency to eat unhealthy food when the pressure is on. Now, I'm a lot more aware of what I'm putting into my body and how much I weigh. I realize that I have to take care of my body to make it for the long haul.

2. I would have taken a salary quicker: I made a decision to hire a worship pastor, kid’s pastor, youth pastor and secretary before I received a salary. It was an older and more seasoned local pastor friend who rebuked me and told me to begin receiving a salary from the church. He told me if I would trust God, God would bless the church and finances. He was right, and I wish I would have trusted God earlier. This would have allowed me to spend more time working on People's Church instead of focusing so much time on the evangelistic ministry. I also would have been more rested!

3. I would have taken more time off in the early days: I was preaching 15 to 20 Sundays in a row at People's Church on top of all of the traveling I was doing around the United States as an evangelist. I really did think that the church wouldn't survive or at least thrive unless I preached almost every Sunday. This was faulty and unhealthy thinking on my part. I now realize that I am the primary teacher at People's Church, but I don't have to or need to teach every Sunday for the church to survive or thrive.