Congratulations, and fresh starts
Many seminaries have held graduation ceremonies in the past week; others will be doing so in the coming week or so. I don't know how many of my tens of readers are still in seminary, but to all of you who have recently graduated: you have my deep and heartfelt congratulations. You have completed an accomplishment of no small substance, and I commend you on your work and diligence to see it through.
Along those lines: I assume that many (if not most) graduates will be transitioning into ministry over the coming weeks and months. I intend to continue my re-visitation of my original Eight Principles for Starting Effective Ministries Well over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, here's a great (probably better than mine) set of reflections:
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Professor Scot McKnight has been hosting a wonderful series on his blog, where he asks seasoned pastors (most of them seem to have more than a couple of decades of ministry experience) to reflect on the question: if you could start all over again, knowing what you know now, what would you focus on? John Ortberg, John Frye, and Bob Smallman all make great contributions.
What's clear to them (and to me, already) is that it is easy to make assumptions about pastoral ministry that may or may not be fully accurate once you are immersed in the work itself. Draw on the wisdom of these pastors and learn from them what you can.