4 Lessons from 40 Years of Ministry Experience

I had never heard of Jeanne Mayo until I heard her speak recently.

I’m officially a fan.

Her message, based on four lessons from four decades of ministry, had pearls of wisdom scattered throughout. And a close that had me fighting back the tears.

Here are my notes from her talk.

They don’t do the talk justice, but hopefully you’ll get something. ;)

1. Live life as a frog-kisser

Believe in people. Encourage them. See past their warts.

Jesus did this with Peter in Matthew 16:13-18.

Peter, the one who constantly made mistakes. He acted out in anger (John 18:10) and denied Jesus (Mark 14:66-72), yet God saw past his name (which meant “little pebble”) and mistakes calling him Peter, the rock (v18).

2. Play favorites

Don’t be afraid to play favorites and have an inner circle of friends. Jesus did in Peter, James and John.

You can touch the masses, but you can only disciple the few.

How do you know who the “favorites” should be? “Whoever unlocks your heart is often a key to your calling (i.e., the people you are naturally drawn to).”

Unless you strategically choose the people who get the majority of your time, people will make that decision for you (and often waste your time).

3. Fight daily for your spiritual health

It’s often easy to be good at ministry without being good as a Christ-follower.

After people have gotten to know you, do they say “you’re the real deal” spiritually?

Easy for God to become more of a business associate than our Father.

There’s a difference between your title and your personhood. Judas was a disciple by title, but betrayer by personhood.

Ministry is not what we do, but an overflow of who we are. Are we Christ-followers?

4. Don’t quit

Malcolm Gladwell (in his book Outliers) says success in an area boils down to investing at least 10,000 hours in it. To get there, you can’t quit.

Harriett Tubman echoed the same idea to the slaves she helped escape during the Civil War.

If you hear the dogs, keep going.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If there’s shouting after you, keep going.
Don’t ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

Any of these four points hit home with you?

#3 was the biggest one for me. I definitely needed that reminder…


2 replies on “4 Lessons from 40 Years of Ministry Experience”

There is a lot of truth contained in this post. Numbers 1 and 3 definitely hit closest to home for me, as I often struggle encouraging others and am daily fighting spiritually. Hope all is well!

Austin!! Things are definitely well! Thanks for stoppin’ by and sharing!

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