Room to Grow and the Encouragement to Do So

December 9, 2014

Ministry Development Consultations are available to clergy and lay ministry professionals that allow them to meet with someone who listens and provides ideas for their ministry.  Pastors that have gotten in a rut in their ministries are able to share with a leadership development consultant and the consultant is there to offer suggestions and ideas to get the momentum flowing again.

These consultations can be followed by an application for a grant, which can be used to help develop the pastor’s leadership skills.  I had the privilege to participate with a consultation and have received a $500 grant from this experience.  These funds have allowed me to pay for continuing education by taking a class and to purchase literature.  In order to receive the grant, one must provide a development plan on how they will use the funding and how it will aid in their ministry.

Along with taking the course, I have used the remaining grant money to purchase additional resources that are part of the Feasting on the Word series.  Feasting on the Word is a wonderful ministry tool.  It provides commentary on all the scriptures of the Revised Common Lectionary for Years A, B and C.  There are four reflections associated with each scripture.  Getting other perspectives on God's Word has always been helpful to me so I can understand what God is trying to say through that particular scripture.  The resource gives faithful perspectives on the meaning of scripture and puts it in simple terms we all can understand and relate to.

I am hungry to learn about anything and everything that will allow me to be a better pastor and preacher for my congregation and most importantly for God.  These interviews, seminars, and retreats are a great opportunity to continue my education, and to keep me growing in my faith and in my ministry. This experience has helped me identify places where I need to grow, as well as reveal places I should try and grow. Sometimes in this process of looking into ourselves, we realize that we truly are called by God and that He is the one that helps and guides us through this life.  Having opportunities to see into ourselves with courage, and receiving strength to become a better disciple, are blessings from God. We should never stop learning or want to stop learning about God, our faith, and the ability to be disciples for Jesus Christ.  We are called to be the best Christ-centered, loving examples of Jesus on this earth.  But, we may never be what God called us to be if we do not take a glimpse into our own walk of faith.

I have been truly blessed with this opportunity to take a look at areas in which I need to grow. The best part about it was that in no way was I blamed or shamed in this process. I was truly lifted on high for things I do right and provided encouragement for the things I can improve on.   Please take the time and these opportunities to look into your ministry for the sake of saving yourself from burning out and walking away from God.

By Rev. Eric Lineberry, Pastor, New Union UMC
Leadership Development