Preach the Word. The single most important thing a young pastor must do is preach God’s Word. Everything begins here. God’s Word is what converts sinners and sanctifies saints (1 Thess. 1:5; Jn. 17:17). God’s Word is what brings health and growth and godly change (1 Thess. 2:13). Therefore, faithful expositional preaching of God’s Word must be a young pastor’s first priority.
Love the people. A pastor must love his people. He must live among them, care for them, serve them, encourage them, bear with them, and give himself for them. It is especially important for a pastor to generously, tenderly love his people early on in his ministry so that they learn to trust him. Apart from this love-earned trust, they won’t be likely to follow his leadership.
Choose battles wisely. Not every issue is worth causing a fight over. A young pastor must work to develop a clear sense of what is most important and must put his foot down only when it really matters.
Play the long game. Don’t expect everything to change overnight. Plan to settle in and work for change in the long run. Patiently teach and disciple your people. Commit yourself to serving them long-term and pray that the Lord would bring about fruit in his own good time.