What next (2): Character & Competence

c11ecb608f9aa2a7b5833bc5e8cae51dLast week I met with my Pastor, most always a great challenge and encouragement!

After bringing up my concerns for what I’m doing next year, and not really having much confidence on any pathway in particular. He asked me what my “long term plans” were. Whilst this may seem pretentious, its the sort of questions I really really like being asked. It focuses me back to my life vision and purpose. I shared about my hope to become a church leader eventually.

This led to him talking about character and competence. Stuff which I really needed to hear and was so good to be reminded of. Competence is skills, experience, ability and knowledge. If I go down the FFM route with the Navigators and/or a Masters in Theology, I will definitely grow in Competence, but to ask will I also grow in Character? (Maybe…maybe not?) Whereas if I get a regular job, working the 9-5 or longer hours and feel the pressure most others feel of not working in a “Christian” workplace and all the tensions which come with that. The focus will probably not be on Competence in Church leadership but Character formation.

I hope this makes sense and isn’t too “Christian-book-leadership-jargon”…

Anyway, this hasn’t put me off the FFM/Master’s route, but has raised a very crucial question: Where do I most need to grow in order to become a Church Leader? Character or Competence? And which option of what I choose to do next will help me in this area the most? I totally trust God’s sovereignty to bring me to this point either way, but in being a wise steward I take the responsibility, of choosing wisely in this next big decision, seriously.

I once heard someone explain the three important elements of vocation probably either 3dm, Gordon T. Smith or a vicar I used to meet with frequently.

Calling – What God’s asking of you, Character – issues of the heart, integrity, the  manifest fruit of the Spirit etc, Competence – skills and abilities etc.

As someone who has spent a lot of time reading into Christian leadership and theology and had a lot of experience in leading from an early age (Really would like to do a boasting-foolish post…pride settle- more reason to grow in Character!) I feel competent. (Tension being that it is God alone who makes me competent!) I also feel very sure in God’s calling, through word of knowledge which were spoken over me frequently growing up, my natural and spiritual gifting (again overlook the jargon) and personal conviction. However I’m not sure on Character, when have I been tested in my character? More thinking needed! 

Thank You God for putting people in my life who can challenge me and ask me difficult questions speaking openly and honestly about concerns they have for me. I ask that I would be humble to receive what You are saying to me through them, and also faithful in responding to You. Keep me teachable and relying on You. Amen.

(The picture is relevant because of the “comptence” you’d need in music in order to be able to play the piece of music. Haha, creativity is something I’m working on!)



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