12 Landmines To Avoid in Ministry

In 1998 when I was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, Pastor Tommy Nelson delivered a series of messages in chapel on the “12 Landmines of Ministry.” I have never forgotten these sermons. They grow out of the experience of a seasoned pastor, and they are very practical. You will have to adapt these to your own ecclesiological context (e.g., he’s not a congregationalist), but I still think there are some very helpful things in here both for pastors and for those training to be a pastor. There are four messages, each of which contains three landmines. You can download or listen to them below.

Landmines 1-3 [download]


1. Inability to avoid pride

2. Inability to have authenticity

3. Inability to shun worldliness

Landmines 4-6 [download]


4. Inability to identify leaders and surround yourself with worthy men

5. Inability to deal with women

6. Inability to cultivate a private devotional life

Landmines 7-9 [download]


7. Inability to educate your people to be disciple-makers

8. Inability to enjoy and relate to people

9. Inability to persevere in ministry

Landmines 10-12 [download]


10. Lack of courage to remain in Apostolic truth

11. Inability to be a team man

12. Unwillingness to lead, initiate, or progress

3 Responses to 12 Landmines To Avoid in Ministry

  1. Matt Smethurst December 5, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Nelson is a sadly underrated and even unknown Bible teacher in YRR circles. Thanks for highlighting his ministry.

  2. Michael Karpf December 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    You need to watch out for these landmines. Problem is, you don’t find out until you step on one, and then it’s usually too late

  3. Tim Campbell December 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! This is very helpful!

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