Principles for Pastoring

by Jack Hyles

A principle is something that normally works. (If 90% of the people get the same results from a certain course of action, then I feel like a fellow is wise to give this advice, rather than a gut feeling.)

These things will save you more heartache than anything in the world.

The Principle of Questions  – Time to be quiet.

1.  When you want pity – (seek counsel, not pity) 50% of the people come for pity, not counsel.  Most of the people come to be helped, not to help you.  You can’t lead for long seeking pity or sympathy, personally or publicly.

  • a.  No one can understand your problem fully.  (There is no one in this congregation that can understand my problem, you must go to Him.)
  • b.  You forfeit your right to help others when you share your problems with them.
  • c.  You are bypassing the only One who understands. The truth is, you are implying that God alone is not sufficient. (God was the portion for the tribe of Levi.)

Most of our graduates who make serious mistakes make them in this area.  Don’t burden your wife with your problems.  (If you have to be boosted up, you have no right to be in the pulpit. Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

  • d.  You will seldom get what you seek when you seek pity, because everyone is seeking it too.  Hang on to God yourself; you are the one who has the burden,                   not the person whom you ask to pray with you.
  • e.  You’ll come nearer getting sympathy by keeping silent.  You must take care of their burdens and not your own.

2.  When you disagree with someone.  Most of our disharmony we wouldn’t have, if we didn’t talk back when we disagree.

3.  Don’t talk when you want to search out the facts about an accusation against you.  You are going to live in a glasshouse.  You are going to want to disprove the false accusations, but God did not call you to do that.  Your job is to help others.  Strength is always to help weakness.

  • You’ll not be able to lift your people above the clouds if you live under them.
  • I can’t help you if I’m burdened down with me. You can’t lead the church if you know what they are saying. Direct conversation away from criticism.

4.  Do not talk about your problems.  When a preacher calls Bro. Hyles with a problem and leaves his number, Bro. Hyles can hardly ever get through to him; he will be talking to everyone about it.

5.  Be quiet when your advice is not sought. I do not want to display my advice, I want to use my advice.

6.  Do not talk when it will hurt you.  Do not put yourself in a position to be hurt.  Don’t hang around negative people.  You cant help others when you are wounded.  You have got to keep your mind positive.

7.  Do not talk if your advice will not be needed.  Your troubles are started because you want to talk.  Most arguments are started right here.

8.  Don’t want to know who your enemies are.

  • You are the only person that can destroy yourself.  Others can only provoke you to self-destruction.
  • The church needs the preacher more than the preacher needs the church. (You can let a whole crowd go unfed because you will continually glance toward the person whom you think has something against you.)
  • Why not thank God for the 499 people who are for you, rather than the 1 who is against you?

9.  Do not want to know what your enemies are doing or saying.

  • You would be surprised how small enemies look from 100 feet up.
  • I can win more people than those who can get mad at me.

10.  Don’t ever tell your side of the story.

  • a.  Your friends won’t believe it.
  • b.  Your enemies won’t believe it.
  • c.  Too much else to do.
  • d.  You can’t combat venom with venom.

Enemies have no logic; you will not change them by logic; hatred is their problem.  Don’t give those against you free publicity.  You plant seeds of doubt when you defend yourself.

11.  Don’t talk when it will hurt somebody.  (I have lost all confidence in a lot of people, but they’ll never know it, what good would it do to tell them?  Why hurt them?)

  • Women are made to follow.  Therefore, they do not depend on logic like a man. Most of your fussing at your wife is because you want a man for your wife, mentally
  • It takes more manhood to restrain yourself than to exert power.
  • If you would ever get a hold of that (Love) you would be quiet more.

12.  Don’t talk when you don’t want it to be known.  The most wasted sentence in the world: Don’t tell anybody this.

13.  Don’t talk when attacked.  (The guy who hits second gets penalized.)

  • You can’t win a fight; people are for the underdog.
  • As soon as Bro. Hyles gets a bad problem, he helps someone else who needs help and soon he has forgotten his problem.
  • ‘Romance is a better peacemaker that peacemaking is a romancer.’
  • ‘Don’t use your wife as a burden catcher.’
  • You can destroy your chance to do the talking you are supposed to do by doing the talking you are not supposed to do.

14.  Limit yourself to planned socializing.  The most dangerous statement in the world is “Why don’t you all come over tonight?”

  • What has been said behind this pulpit tonight probably is the most important hour and a half you will spend as far as your ministry is concerned.
  • Read my poem on A Pastor’s Heart over and over again.
  • Don’t let what people say determine what you say.  Plan what you say.
  • You don’t need to conquer your wife.  You treat her like she ought to be treated and she’ll surrender.

Learn to suffer alone; that’s what you call being a man.

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