If you could start over what would you do differently?

If you could start over what would you do differently about your preparation and all that has brought you to where you are right now?

Where to begin?  If I could go back in time and speak to a younger me I would tell myself first of all to read more.  “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” is a quote I heard once. One can never read to many books. No matter where your location of ministry, foreign or domestic, everyone in ministry should read.  I have a substantial library and I love to read, but I would read more. Reading is one of the keys to success. antique book and  old key
 I would try and do an internship with a trusted missionary.  This is one thing that I really wish I had done when I was younger.  Being in a different culture is always a good experience and witnessing ministry being done in another culture is something every Pastor should see.  Along this line I would have taken a missions trip sooner.  I didn’t go out of the country until I was 32, and it definitely changed my life.  I was recently in a church where a man (who has three nephews that are missionaries) said he believes everyone in church should go on a mission trip but that it should be a requirement for every pastor and deacon.
I would have started younger.  If I had known that eventually I would wind up on the mission field I would have probably have started out a lot sooner.  Things are much, much easier to do when you are younger.  Now every new thing that I do, it is not just me that’s doing it but my wife and  five children.  Everything is more difficult with a family of seven as compared to being single, a newly wed couple, or a young couple with a small child.
A mentor would have been found sooner.  This is the big reason I wanted to go with Vision Baptist Missions, because I knew they wouldn’t just help you get to the field but they would help you succeed on the field through their mentoring.  Every young preacher needs a mentor.  Timothy had Paul, and Mark had Barnabas.
This is post is part 5 in the series “Answering Vision” and is taken from the panel discussion questions from the missions conference at Vision Baptist Church you can read part 4 here. 

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