In the political arena, mandates can be fightin' words. But having a set of mandates can actually help you do ministry better. In some way, you can think of your mandates as your "core values" when it comes to doing your ministry.

One of my mandates is to try to make everything -- ensembles, ministry, relationships -- better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today. Among opther things, that means staying abreast of new research and developments in my calling, but more than that, it means that the educational component of my ministry is something I take very seriously.

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