By: Logan Douglas

Recently I was asked to contribute toward a birthday gift for a young man who I have had the pleasure of mentoring for the past year. 

Currently, this young man is one of my elders and it has been an indescribable joy to sit under his preaching and to see him lead Christ’s church with such gentleness and care.

The gift was a book, handwritten by his wife, compiling wisdom and encouragement from various people in his life. And now, I share them with you. 

  1. God first. Always!
  2. Family Second (Spouse, Kids, and the Church). Your public ministry is an overflow of your godly character as seen in your private ministry. What matters most are the relationships closest to you, not the big things you do in front of strangers.
  3. Do not set out to regularly attempt big, famous things fast. Instead, learn the peace of an unhurried life and spend time at the feet of Jesus. He will build His Church, I promise.
  4. Pray before you plan.
  5. Rest is an act of obedience.
  6. God desires to save people more than you desire them to be saved.
  7. Jesus loves all people and desires for them to repent and believe. If you find yourself surrounded by Christians all the time, seek spaces where you can build deep relationships with non-believers in a way to show them the love of Jesus.
  8. Don’t overestimate what can be done in one year and don’t underestimate what can be one in ten years.
  9. Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint, so learn to run a grace-paced race.
  10. When in doubt, pray. When not in doubt, pray.
  11. Seek wisdom through Prayer, Scripture, and counsel. Do not make decisions in a vacuum.
  12. Surround yourself with godly people who are not like you. 
  13. Always have a mentor and always be learning.
  14. Invest your whole life toward helping people follow Jesus. This includes family worship, family discipleship, worship gatherings, teaching/preaching, leading others, training others, and empowering others.
  15. Establish boundaries, rest, and margin. Establish them early. You are not God, which means the word ‘“No’’ should regularly be spoken by you. You should even say “no” to really good things. Prioritize the ‘next best right thing’ and be prepared to delegate or delay non-important tasks that can be done by others or done at another time.
  16. Pray with your spouse, out loud, daily.
  17. Talk with your spouse about Scripture. Talk about what God is teaching you both through His Word.
  18. If you are blessed with children, talk to your children about Scripture and pray out loud with them too.
  19. Pick your battles. Know which hills you are willing to die on. This means that there will be some hills you choose not to die on, meaning there are some fights that you should not have. Leave room for glorious disagreement and remember to love always.
  20. Rest your head every night on the pillow of God’s sovereign grace, knowing that you were saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you had nothing to do with that besides responding with repentance and faith.

Logan Douglas is a missionary church planter with the International Mission Board in Iceland working with The Iceland Project. 

Check out this week’s podcast from In The Trenches as Jared and Logan talk about their experiences planting churches internationally.