5 Critical Young Leader Mistakes

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Learn how to overcome these critical leadership mistakes.


1. Handling the Pressure of Ministry.

Of all the mistakes I made as a young leader, I think the most surprising and the most costly mistake was knowing how to handle the pressure of ministry.

Ministry brings pressure that seems to be unique to the calling. 

It’s not that I hadn’t experienced pressure before.

I went through university working part-time and often taking extra courses to complete the program early.

In my brief time in law, I had to prepare for court almost every day, faced judges who were not impressed with lawyers, dealt with big clients who had high expectations, and lawyers and partners who were looking for you to win. It was pressure (I loved it), but it was a different kind of pressure.

I love ministry and am so thankful to have been called into it, but with it comes pressure that is, well, just different.

You feel the weight. 

As a leader, you need to get your mind and heart around why ministry is so challenging.

Here’s my theory as to why ministry is such a pressure cooker for many.

Ministry combines three areas of life that are intensely personal:

Your faith

Your work

Your community

Because of that, it gets confusing.

What you do is what you believe.

What you believe is what you do.

Your friends are also the people you serve and lead.

Throw your family into the mix (because they believe what you believe and are friends with the people you/they lead and serve) and, bam—it’s even more confusing.

Because of this, things that normally happen ‘at work’ very seldom stay ‘at work.’

The pressure, if not handled well, can lead to problems that impact your home, your life and even your faith, as Michael Lukaszewski so accurately points out in this post.  

Carey Nieuwhof Carey Nieuwhof is Lead Pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto, Canada, blogs at www.careynieuwhof.com and is host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast available for free on iTunes.

More from Carey Nieuwhof or visit Carey at http://careynieuwhof.com

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  • Matthew

    This was useful, thanks.

  • Ryan

    Senior and Lead pastors would also do well to heed this advice. I met a pastor once that, when I asked what his hobbies were he said “prayer and fasting are my hobbies” The problem is that they really were, he wasn’t kidding. He had no social relationship with anyone outside of his church, had no close friends, and everything was always about church business. It created a lot of stress for his church and staff and caused him to have a huge staff turnover rate. Since he had grown children who had moved away he was able to devote even more time to “ministry”.

    Because of that devotion to “ministry” this pastor had lost sight of what it means for other staff members to have small children and families who do activities outside of church. Young and older leaders alike need to place family before church or it will be devastating to your family in the future.

    • lovingthegospel

      great great post, Ryan.

  • Mike

    Great stuff. Thanks for sharing. A lot to chew on. If you have time
    Carey, what were some key factors–steps you took–led of God that
    helped you lead your church past the 50 mark, 100, and so on? What
    helped you delegate well? My name is Mike Ramondetta and I pastor a
    church in Macclenny Florida (25 miles west of Jacksonville) My email is
    pastor@ebclife.org. Thank you! I would love to chat with you if
    possible.

  • Vincent Aja

    Something so worthy to look around anytime…

  • Konrad

    1. Believing I had all the answers
    2. Believing I had to or could do it all by myself

  • Karl

    great article it help me a lot specially im 22 year old and im pastoring a 2 year old church thank for sharing

  • leby65

    This is an excellent article. I work with young people (men and women) in my ministry and you have dealt with the core issues. For the mentor/supervisor/co-worker it is sometimes a slippery slope to know when to push a younger leader or when to back off. We need young, smart, Godly leaders. Thanks for encouraging them.

  • Jared

    Wow, this is really a great article. Thanks.

  • Patrick Morley

    Old leader mistakes too. Good wisdom.

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