On-The-Job Training

Last month and this month Mr. Trump’s cabinet picks sat before respective Senate committees for interviews. It occurred to me that I’ve assumed that certain qualifications attach themselves to certain roles. I’ve thought this way about pastors and leaders in churches, hospitals, and graduate schools. These are the places where I spend my time, where I work. But I also believe that when it comes to other roles.

I realized as I turned off the news that I think there is massive room for growth any time a person takes a position. But, at the same time, there are some lessons that should be learned before accepting a role. There are some things you really should know. There are some classes one should have mastered before surrendering to a leading place of those same classrooms.

I believe in the experience of on-the-job training. I’ve lived it. For instance, I wasn’t an executive pastor before Sweet Holy Spirit made me one. I had no concept for restructuring loans and managing payroll and developing oversight committees from the membership for the health of that church. While providing pastoral care and teaching formation. While standing in when the pastor traveled 50% of the week. While maturing as a very young adult.

Sweet Holy Spirit, the context, cast those particular needs into view and called those new learnings forth from me. But I had completed graduate school. I had been in seminary while working there. I had been the closest student of the senior pastor for most of my remembered life. I had been through experiences that set me up to live with integrity in that learning and serving environment.

I wasn’t brand new. I was continuing in my on-the-job training after having been trained in other spheres. It’s true that where we’ve been stations us for what we’re doing and for where we’re headed. But when we take roles that are out of step with “where we’re headed,” the path is destructive; the process is painful; and the product is usually whatever you imagine as bad.

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