ministry, The Church

An Unpopular Proposal

June 4, 2010 • By

In my last post, I made the observation that great leaders love to learn. They read, attend conferences, and keep growing as a leader.

I was talking with a friend recently.  He’s a professional counselor and works hard to be able to give his best to his clients.  In fact, he has to prove that he’s investing in his professional skills with something he referred to as CEUs (Continuing Education Units).  He explained to me that this is a common requirement in the fields of counseling and medicine.

This makes perfect sense!  Think about it.  If your doctor graduated from medical school twenty years ago but hasn’t picked up a medical journal or continued to learn new and better methods since then, would you have a whole lot of confidence in him or her?  I know I wouldn’t!  I want to know that the guy treating me or my children is prepared with information and methods that are more effective than the ones used twenty years ago.

So if it’s so important for people who work with temporary things (our bodies) to keep educating themselves, then why shouldn’t those working with eternal things (our spirits) be required to keep learning?  Honestly, I don’t understand how someone can obtain a minister’s license and never even have to pick up a book from that day forward!

So that’s my proposal to credentialing bodies and denominations: make ministers have to prove that they are investing in their growth as a minister and leader. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or complicated.  Submitting a list of books they’ve read each year would be better than the current system.  Hold them accountable to grow or lose their license.

I know that proposal might make me unpopular.  That’s OK with me.  As a credential holder, I’d be held to the same standard.  I just feel that the people we minister to are worth it.  Don’t you?

Let me know what you think.  Should this type of accountability be in place?

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