I have been asked consistently for the past year why I would subject myself to the discipline of obtaining a second master’s degree. I have a seminary master’s in counseling, but last year I began work on a master’s in organizational leadership from Eastern University in Philadelphia. I should finish this degree in early 2010.
The answer is fairly simple. I am an idiot who loves to torture myself.
Actually, the truth is that I felt the need for more education in a field that I practice most. As a pastor and church planter I need seminary training. Honestly though, I went to seminary later in life also and much of what I learned about the Bible I had studied previously as a layperson. I have been a student of the Bible since I was in my early twenties. What I have found the need for most in my leadership role in the church is insight on leading an organization. The more we have grown the more I have sensed the need to grow personally.
So far in my studies we have looked at organizational leadership, strategic planning, organizational efficiency, human resources, strategic thinking and change management and financial management. All of these are vital to what I do at Grace Community Church and the training has been directly transferable to my work.
There are a few other reasons I am pursuing this degree.
- Our church has grown faster than my ability to keep up with it at times. I recently wrote about leadership capacity and, as with many posts, this one had personal implications.
- I want to make the organization of the church better. One of the reasons I blog is to help others grow in their leadership with principles I have learned in business, church and through my education.
- I am a Kingdom-builder. When God called me into ministry, He called me for who I am. I am not a sit still, detailed, or single-minded person. I think big!
- I never want to stop learning. Ever!
It has been a fun, but stretching and expensive venture for Cheryl and me, but I am thankful God has given me the opportunity. I am also thankful to Cheryl for allowing me the time and to spend our money to do this. As an added benefit, I have learned to love Philly cheesesteak. I even have a favorite.
How are you learning and keeping up these days?