You never know what will be important to you…

by vernsanders on January 11, 2011

Twenty years ago who knew that a traditional church musician would need to understand how to get the most out of a sound board, write great tweets in order to build a large social network, and be able to link to YouTube during a rehearsal?

Who knew that a contemporary worship leader would need to understand vocal technique as it applies to choral singing, be a great arranger/orchestrator, and be able to manage an entire worship ministry?

What is the common denominator here? Continuing Education. Without it, eventually you, and your ministry will slowly get painted into the corner of “we’ve always done it that way…” because that’s all you know. Life, the universe, and everything are changing so fast that what is important today may not be important in 3 years, and what will be important in 5 years may not have even been thought of yet.

When you are doing your new year’s resolutions and planning, don’t forget to include a continuing education piece for yourself and your critical staff and/or volunteers. It may just save your job at some point down the road.

It also allows you flexibility in the face of change.

I was never taught English grammar during my 21 years of schooling. By luck or by chance, my English instruction was always either reading or writing, with occasional excursions into vocabulary and spelling.

Fortunately, from the age of 4, I had a love of reading, because that taught me about grammar by seeing it in action. Writing, on the other hand, was just something I did because I had to…until I got to my master’s thesis, when my advisor took it upon himself to teach me how to write (thank you Malcolm Cole!).

My expected goal from all that education was a nice academic career, something that I enjoyed as a tenured professor for many years. Little did I know that I would end up the publisher of a magazine, an author, and a regular blogger.

But when the opportunity presented itself, I was able to decide I wanted to make a career change because of my continuing education.

Your results may vary.

Has continuing education ever prepared you for a decision you didn’t know you’d have to make? Please leave a comment and let me know about your experience.

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January 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm

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Nancy Jo Doughty January 11, 2011 at 10:10 am

Two classes that I took several years apart and several years ago had a huge effect on my professional career. The History of California was interested and the final required a paper on the economic affect on California of some event or person. Because of my hobby – figure skating – I did a paper on Sonja Heinie. It turned out to be well written and of intrest to the entire class. The next class was The History of Science. Based on a 70s PBS program “The Ascent of Man,” we were required to watch an hour of the show each week, choose a scientific event from the current week newspaper and write a paper combining the two in some way. An A on every paper that I wrote! Wow! Having had such good experiences in writing allowed me to move into the technical writing field for the computer software company where I worked. I moved up to be Manager of their Documentation and Education department. Great fun for many years!

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