Yearning for Learning
Each new year comes fully equipped with its share of resolutions and commitments. How many times have you begun the year and sworn to be a better student, to be a better spouse, to do better with your finances, or to lose weight? Whether or not you make an official “New Years Resolution”, in the back of most everyone’s mind is the desire to be better and do better.
I begin this year with two resolutions. The first is to get back on track with losing weight. When Jason and I got married we were very committed to cutting calories and eating healthier. We lost quite a bit! But ever since we moved to PA for full-time ministry we’ve fallen far off the wagon (living in limbo didn’t help the matter). So here we are again starting fresh! The second thing I want to see myself accomplish this year is to be more prepared and more educated. And to be quite honest, I think this is something everyone needs to spend a little more time on if you don’t already. This isn’t a shotgun reaction to the onset of the new year. Rather, it’s a yearning to grow!
I am currently 23 years old, and 21 of those years were spend in schooling. For 90% of my life I sat behind a desk and absorbed all kinds of information, most of which I sadly no longer remember. I didn’t realize how much I loved learning until the summer of 2010, right after I graduated Liberty University. I found myself without a purpose – I’d go to work, come home, do nothing all night, and then start all over again. I missed learning! I think it’s important to keep that yearning to learn instead of becoming complacent. Speaking of complacent, I have to confess that for the past few months that has been my attitude. I think I got so caught up with all my life changes that I neglected reading or any kind of learning. This year I am going to change that and educate myself on a regular basis.
So lets combat complacency together this year! Here are three key things to keep in mind on a day-to-day basis:
1. Educate yourself in spiritual things (as well as general knowledge). I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory. How can we claim to be doing student ministry if we aren’t fostering spiritual growth in ourselves? Read the Bible daily and study it! If you don’t know how to study the Bible, learn. Start getting books that will challenge you to think deeper, grow stronger, and do better. Jesus was well-educated, and not just because He is God! He chose to spend time in the temple learning and challenging Himself (and His teachers!). His parables reflect a vast array of knowledge. He could relate to everyone! Paul was educated on the culture (Acts 17) around him, and was definitely educated on the things of God. Why else would the New Testament be filled with books that he authored? The greatest leaders today and throughout history have proven themselves to be well-educated and well-read.
2. Keep your brain active. I’m sure you’ve heard of the studies out there that have proved you live longer and healthier if you keep your brain active – one of the many benefits keeping your brain active can offer. Just like your body needs exercise, so does your brain! Maybe for you that’s little things like playing Sudoku to keep your brain thinking. But I suggest you go beyond that and maybe even read something above your level. Read something that is controversial or that you disagree with to stay well-informed. Yes, you need to grow spiritually, but you need to grow mentally as well or your spiritual growth may be stunted.
3. Be prepared. Paul tells timothy in 2 Timothy 4 to “preach the word; [and] be ready in season and out of season; [to] reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” This principle stands true whether or not you are a teacher of Scripture! We need to know Scripture in and out. Part of that is also reading up on others’ insight regarding Scripture and its application in every day life. Scripture can be useful in a number of ways (reprove, rebuke, exhort, etc), but we have to know it well to handle it well.
Whether you are a youth worker or a parent, I hope you join me in this quest to learn. It has to become a yearning, not simply to become puffed up with head knowledge, but to learn more about God and who He wants you to become.
Posted on January 4, 2012, in Christian Living, Leadership, Parenting, Spiritual Disciplines and tagged Bible, books, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Discipleship, educate, Family Ministry, God, Jesus, Leadership, Parenting, Pastor, read, Spiritual Discipline, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.