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9 Pastors Share Their Greatest Ministry Do-Overs

Outreach Magazine recently asked nine influential pastors this question: “If you could go back and do one thing differently in the early days of your ministry, what would it be?” 

Worry less about what people thought. I tried to make a lot of people happy.

—Bob Coy, Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Ask the church to elect elders earlier to provide greater covering, accountability, and guidance.

—Steve Stroope, LakePointe Church, Rockwall, Texas


Be clearer about the vision of the church. I often said it verbally from the pulpit, but I didn’t put it in writing.

—Don Wilson, Christ’s Church of the Valley, Peoria, Arizona


Build deeper relationships with other pastors outside of my church.

—Troy Gramling, Potential Church, Cooper City, Florida


Appreciate the people who were present during those tough years.

—Kevin Myers, 12Stone Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia


Be more patient with people in the church, with other ministers and schools of thought.

—Matt Chandler, The Village Church, Flower Mound, Texas


Take time to play; enjoy my family more.

—Brian Tome, Crossroads, Cincinnati


Not be so dogmatic and blunt.

—Robert Emmitt, Community Bible Church, San Antonio, Texas


Make sure from the first day that I was apprenticing other campus pastors and church planters alongside me. It was nine years before we reproduced a campus or a church. That is pathetic!

—Dave Ferguson, Community Christian Church, Chicago


Editor’s Note: We’d like to hear your greatest ministry do-over. Share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below.

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Outreach magazine provides fascinating stories, field-tested ideas, and insights for effective church outreach. Awarded both secular and Christian recognition for excellence in content and presentation, Outreach magazine serves as a fresh stream of practical resources and tactics for pastors, lay leaders, and ministers in all areas. Outreach magazine also publishes the widely sought Outreach 100 issue, annually featuring the top 100 largest and fastest growing churches in America. Personalities featured on the cover of past issues include Erwin McManus, Franklin Graham, Josh McDowell, Dan Kimball, Francis Chan, and others.