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My Mentor on Life Long Learning



There are only a handful of vocations where the payscale is tiered to reward education. Ministry is not typically one of them. But Jim was a consistent voice of encouragement to always be a learner. Whether it was in the formal sense of pursuing graduate degrees or informally with conferences, workshops, and seminars. I think he knew that if his staff was growing intellectually, it would enrich our lives and spill over into the way we served the church.

Even a visit to his office reinforced his value of education.

The long side walls were converted to bookshelves to hold his library. Books of varying ages, sizes, and topics consumed the space from the floor to the celing. The east wall, the one to your left as you entered had several shelves with more books and a credenza. On the credenza were photos, artifacts, and momentos from hiking trips and mountain climbing expeditions. The west wall, the one behind his desk there was a writing desk beneath a large plateglass window.

His words, example, stories, pictures, books, and life called out, “Sharpen your skills, discover new things, learn to climb mountains, wrestle with difficult issues,” to anyone who was listening.

It doesn’t matter which field you’ve chosen, you need someone like this in your life…someone who reads books, challenges you to take adventures, and says in word and attitude, “You can do it!”

There are so many opportunities for us to learn and technology has made them accessible to us.

  • Take an art class
  • Join a book club
  • Learn to dance
  • Tear apart an engine
  • Start a photography blog
  • Learn to fly fish

As you lean into new areas, discover new things, learn to climb mountains of all sorts ~ your life will be enriched and new life will spill over into the way you serve your organization. 

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