Serving God Tips (#3 and #4)

December 1, 2022 Mario Villella Discipleship

In our last newsletter I mentioned that I’d be sharing with you a series of tips for serving in ministry. These are things that I have learned over the course of my ministry - sometimes from experience, sometimes from another pastor or leader, and often from both. We’ve already covered tips #1 and #2 (read them now) and now here are tips #3 and #4:


You may notice, especially if you end up in a position of church leadership, that there will be people who seem to be unable to question your decisions without also questioning your character. For instance, there may come a time where you decide to not host VBS during the summer, and then someone might say that it’s because you don’t care about children.
Ha ha, yep. It’s a weird thing that happens in church. I assume that if Publix closes down the sushi section, no one thinks that the manager has some sort of ethical problem. But, for some reason, people have a hard time keeping these two issues separate when it comes to church. Not everything that you disagree with is actually a sin issue. Some people don’t realize that. And you’ll have to be patient with them. It’s part of serving God.


What a fantastically helpful principle! I first heard Andy Stanley say this back when I was in my twenties, and I’ve maybe quoted it a hundred times since then. It’s a powerful concept and it works two ways:
  1. If there is a behavior that you want repeated, then reward it. For instance, if you see someone do a good job, praise them for their work. This makes it more likely they will keep doing it.
  2. If there is a behavior that you don’t want repeated, then by all means, don’t reward it. Because rewarding it might cause you to end up getting more of that behavior.
Now you might think, “Who would reward behavior that they don’t want repeated? No one does that, right?” Wrong. We do it accidentally all the time. One of the easiest places to see it is in the context of parenting: A child pitches a fit and the parent gives them whatever they were demanding. This will inevitably cause more fit-pitching in the future.
This principle applies to adults, too. When people in ministry “hop to it” and try to fix every little complaint that people pass along, they may end up with a church full of whiners. You tend to get more of whatever you reward. This principle applies outside of ministry, too.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. If so, feel free to drop me a line at If this series is helping a lot of people, I’d be happy to continue doing it.
The person who wrote this article. Find out more information about them below.
Mario Villella

Lead Pastor / Elder

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