When John Piper was asked what he learned in ministry the hard way, this was his response:
Don’t assume that all fat people are gluttons. And don’t use the word fat. There is a principle here. Learn from logic and experience not to associate things—especially in preaching—that don’t necessarily go together. Another way to say it is: be hyper-vigilant to avoid and explode stereotypes. Not all single women want to be married. Not all boys like football. Not all homemakers like to cook. Not all messy people are lazy. And not all the obese are gluttons. There are glands and diabetes and a dozen conditions you never heard of that may account for things. Put your sermon through the counter-stereotype sieve.
via On stereotypes, risks, and Jesus: Driscoll interviews Piper | The Resurgence (link no longer available)
What is the ONE thing that YOU would say you had to learn the HARD way in ministry?
Please DO share!