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A Student of the Game

Someone asked me the other day if I had experience on a particular area related to what I do.  In total honesty, I had to tell them that  I had zero experience. I have spent 0% of my time on the job dealing with, planning for, or being held responsible for the task they had asked me about.

However, I do know quite a bit about it. I’ve read about it, I’ve studied it from a distance, and I’ve walked with others through the journey.  When I got a surprised look about my answer, I realized that it’s not always expected that we would be a student of the game. It’s so important to learn about the things in and around what you do; because you never know when what you’ve been learning will become the foundation for the “next big thing” you’re asked to do.

For me, I currently lead a Family Ministry team leading church ministry for those children and students from birth up  through college. I work and exist in the context of one campus, and with much staff. This could always change, and when it changes; I want to be prepared.

Here are the things I’ve taken the time to learn about:

  • Multi-Site Church  Ministry // It could happen…
  • Church Planting // Not interested now, but still a powerful calling that could come calling.
  • the Family Integrated Church Model // This is the total opposite of what I do.
  • Curriculum I’m not currently using at our church // This is so easy to keep up on, and every one in any sort of church teaching environment should always be studying whats out there in the education arena.
  • Volunteer-led Church Ministry // Let’s hope I get to always work with great teams of paid staff, but I should be ready to lead in other ways too.
  • Denominational Church Ministry Trends // There is what I work in, and then there is everything else.  I want to know about everything else.

What are you taking the time to learn? Are you making the investment in areas that you bump up against naturally everyday?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.