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Making the Most of Mistakes

Failure is the path to success, but only if we learn from mistakes and press on.
— Stuart Briscoe

Before I came to Elmbrook Church, a good friend said he didn't think I would last twelve months (I had no previous experience as a pastor, and I was new to America). To survive, he said, I had to avoid two things: a building program and a constitutional revision.

The first week after I assumed pastoral responsibilities, the deacons reported that the constitution was outdated and needed a revision; they had waited for my arrival to begin the process.

Bearing in mind my friend's "prophecy," I stalled for twelve months, but then we got into it. After several committee meetings without incident, one night, at a congregational meeting, I went through a cheese grater.

We were discussing the mode of baptism when some disagreements surfaced. The meeting quickly turned into a debate between me and one person after another who jumped up in the congregation. At first they addressed the issue, but as tempers ...

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