If I Had a “Do-Over”

My grandkids keep me young.  There is seldom a Sunday afternoon that doesn’t have us playing some kind of competitive game, be it hallway soccer, swimming pool basketball, or front room volleyball.  And invariably someone always yells out “DO OVER!”  It’s yelled when someone didn’t like how a certain game sequence turned out for them. And I usually relent and say, “Ok, let’s try that again”!

Ever wish you had a “do over” in pastoring? Maybe not all of it. Ha! Ok, maybe all of it. 

Hey! I’m very grateful for the 33 wonderful years of senior pastoring and I would not trade in one minute for anything. But if the Lord offered a “do-over” with me making healthier pastoral choices I would take the following 9 choices with me.

  1. I would take heed to my primary ministry assignments, my wife and kids, and make sure I choose to protect their health and church experience over that of my congregation.

  2. I would think through what Matthew 25 says about defining my “grace capacity” regarding community influence and church size.

  3. I would give more attention to the wonderful grace of God and how it relates to my church success and personal sanctification, realizing church success has nothing to do with my relationship with God.

  4. I would enjoy church life at every stage.

  5. I would look for more opportunities to celebrate successes than discussing the failures.

  6. I would be more intentional to be around young people and release them into leadership and decisions-making roles sooner than later.

  7. I would make it a habit to publicly honor the hard work of my wife, our leadership team, and our hardworking church volunteers.

  8. I would be more intentional in seeing my church launch other churches and sending out, or at least preparing more, ministers and missionaries.

  9. And probably one of the most important “do-overs” would be to meet regularly with 2 or 3 pastor/friends to share intimate life struggles and personal hardships.


I always allow do-overswith my grandkids. Although pastors can’t go back into time for our ministry do-overswe canexperience ministry recalibrations, restarts, and repurpose opportunities. If you’re not experiencing the healthy outcomes you expected and want a do-overmay you hear your heavenly Father gently saying to you, “Ok!Let’stry that again”!