Monday, July 8, 2013

Reflections from Bishop's Week 2013- Learned or Learning

In one of Bishop's Schnase's talks, he shared about Wesley and the Early Methodists.  He said:
Wesley and the Early Methodists
-Bold Originality
- Outward Focused and Future Oriented
- Creative and Experimental
- Risky and Countercultural
- Mission Driven

They were also not afraid to push back against a system of learned scholars and challenge many long held assumptions about church, religion, faith, community and evangelism.

Methodists pastors should be committed life long learners.  Always the student, walking together with others on a journey of discovery and faith.  Once out of seminary, it takes a great deal of drive, passion and courage to begin the learning process again.  There is a strange middle ground when you have achieved so much (graduating seminary, probationary membership, ordination) when you feel prepared to preach, lead, teach, care and serve.  Walk into any pastors office, there are probably books on the shelves, scattered about, some even on the floor.  That is the life long learner.  But, learning can only take you so far.  Like paint in a can, it must be applied.  Fruitful leaders apply the best teachings to their situations.  A life long learner knows that the more they know, the less they understand.

Fruitfulness is then born of a life completely devoted and souled out to God.  That life is shaped and formed daily by deep spiritual disciplines.  One of those disciplines, not often shared, is the desire and appetite to learn.  We grow by learning, listening, praying and seeking God daily.

To be bold, outwardly focused and relevant to those who seek God, we must become life long learners.  No longer are clergy seen most in the culture as the authority of much more than weddings and funerals.    So, we listen, we learn and we cast of the title of learned and become someone is always learning.

Go in peace and go with God.

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