Just Thinking ...
We never stop learning, and, if we do, it means we are dead. I have heard that tale most of my life. I heard it as my parents pushed me not to give up but to finish the homework. I heard it as I was crying over a scraped knee or cut hand from the one bandaging me up meaning, "Next time you won't do that, will you?!" I heard it from Brent Strawn when he tried to sell me on the idea of the Doctor of Ministry program. Some days I feel dead, but, hey, only a few more months, right?
Continuing our education is a vital part of being a United Methodist clergyperson. The hierarchy encourages the pastors to take classes, attend seminars, read books, participate in discussions, earn a CEU, and much more in order that the mind and the heart continue to develop and grow to the full potential God has given. To push the envelope even more, we require that each pastor earn 4 CEUs in a 4-year period. Some of us still check at annual Ministry Reviews to see if that is happening. (Those with ears to hear ...)
As I mentioned above, I am in my last year of my DMin program at Candler, and I'm doing my best to complete the journey. I believe in continuing education for both the mind and the soul. I encourage all of you to consider how to grow even if you are 66 or if you just finished seminary and want nothing to do with books.
The world is changing, and we are called to serve the world for the sake of Jesus Christ. While He gave his life, the least we can do is give our time to stay educated to the things of the world He loved so much. I know I had a great education from Florida Southern College (GO MOCS!) and from Candler School of Theology, but that was a long time ago now. I am called to stay current and to learn those cutting edge methods for doing the work of the Kingdom.
This is part of the reason I was happy to be invited to serve on the board of the Intentional Growth Center at Lake Junaluska. We are the main programing arm of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. We offer some the best programs to facilitate the growth of both the mind and the heart. So, unashamedly I will be promoting to you opportunites now and then to grow and to get a few CEUs. Plus you get the joy of hanging out at Lake Junaluska sometimes.
Whether you attend a IGC event or something else, I believe there is nothing more enriching than to continue learning and the stretching of the mind and heart for Jesus Christ. Please take the time to find yourself a great event to attend and to move up to the next level of service in God's call.
And remember, please let me know about it, too.
Just thinking here (got to keep the mind flexible),