“We give thanks to you brothers and sisters, as is right, for your faith is increasing and your love for one another is growing.” This beautiful greeting from 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 1, is good and right for us as we think together about ways to advance our discipleship and learning.
Disciple means learner. A disciple is a person who is growing, following and learning. Clergy in our Annual Conference are invited to create for themselves a Discipleship & Learning Plan. And, Laity also are invited into this culture of lifelong learning as we follow Christ.
There’s a helpful template now posted on the website for you to use with questions that may help you think about your learning plan. What unique opportunity or challenge do you face now in your ministry? What is it that you want or need to learn? And, who can help you as you seek to learn and to grow?
These questions will help you think in a unique and personal way about your own life and where it is that you need and want to grow as a disciple. Together we long to build a stronger culture of discipleship, of learning.
I will be working on my own plan for learning, as will the Superintendents and all the clergy in the Annual Conference. There will be in each district some who will helpfully shepherd and guide any who would like this sort of help as they develop a learning plan.
The Discipleship & Learning Plan does not take the place of the very important Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which are required of pastors, nor do they take the place of evaluative conversations with the District Superintendents.
A Learning Plan is not participation in a one time seminar or event. Rather, it is a plan for learning that is sustained and collegial. You’re in my prayers as you think about the way in which God is speaking to you as you pray about ways in which your life may be deepened and enriched in this year to come.
Let us speak together of these things and develop plans so that we may be enriched, continue to grow and, as Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, rejoice together that our faith is growing and our love for one another is increasing.
This is the vision, this is our hope. Grace and peace to you as you engage.