[Our Apologies, this was meant to be posted on Friday the 18th to finish the Grow series. Here it is today, a few days late. -Pastor Brian]
I hope this week has been useful for you to think about your own learning journey. Every passing year, I am more convinced that we will FLOURISH when and as we grow, learn, and become all we are meant to become.
The theme of stewardship is one final motivation for learning.
Think of one of the greatest gifts God has entrusted into your care. It is your SELF. You. Your life. Your existence. And like everything else that God entrusts to his stewards, you are to take care of it (nurture and protect) AND you are to GROW it (make it better).
Remember the parable of the talents? Growth is what the owner intended his stewards to accomplish with what had been entrusted to them. Growth is what God intends for you to bring about in your own life.
Now, on to the three people you need for maximum learning.
FIRST: You need a MENTOR.
A mentor is a teacher, guide, coach, trainer, tutor, spiritual director–really, anyone who can help you grow in your selected area. Mentoring is the relationship transfer of resources from the person who has them (the mentor) to the one who needs them (the learner).
Mentors show us the way, just like Jesus did with his disciples and just like Paul did with Timothy.
Mentors provide us with instructive feedback to equip us. They provide corrective feedback when we make mistakes and encouraging feedback when we make progress.
SECOND: You need a PEER / FRIEND.
You need someone with whom you can be learning. Learning, like most other things, goes better when we do it together with others. Conversations, discussions, disagreements, multiple vantage points, a variety of perspectives and experiences–all this is what happens when we learn together.
That is why we emphasize small groups and mid-size communities so strongly at Living Word. We know you will have a better experience of growing as you do it with others. This fall we have new small groups starting and we will have a variety of mid-size communities to provide you with great teaching and stepping stones for growing further as a follower of Jesus.
THIRD: You need a PROTEGE or MENTEE.
Both those words are a bit unusual. Both those words refer to someone to whom you pass on what you are learning. One of the most significant ways of personal growth is when you invest in someone else. Your own growth will accelerate when you are responsible for helping others grow.
That is why we are always looking for small group leaders and mentors, as well as kid::life and middle school teachers and leaders. We want to pass it on. I have heard over and over from people in those roles that helping others learn became the greatest time of learning for them.
I am grateful that Living Word is a place where you can find mentors, friends, and proteges to be a part of your learning and growing.
I am grateful that the purposes of God, for you and me to flourish to our full potential, are being advanced in our local community.
I am grateful for how so many of you help me to grow.
Pursuing God together in the company of my friends,