Monday, March 9, 2015

Staying current in ministry

Two years ago I got an auctioneer's license. In Indiana every auctioneer's license expires on the same day and must be renewed. Before renewal can occur the auctioneer must have taken 16 hours of continuing education (CE). This is the year for the education so as soon as the new year rolled around I started receiving invitations from various auction schools to take my CE with them.

Since this is the first time I've had to do this I'm not sure what will be covered. I assume we will hear about any changes in the law that affects auctions plus hear about some new things that auctioneers are learning.

When I started receiving these I began thinking about a survey I did of bivocational pastors in 2004. In the survey a large number of bivocational ministers indicated they had not attended a single CE event related to ministry in the previous three years. Many of them had attended such training for their other jobs, but they had done nothing in three years to grow as a minister. That's a shame.

Almost every career requires on-going education as a condition of license renewal. I can't sell a box of tools at auction for more than two years without taking CE, but many ministers believe they can care for the souls of people without doing anything to grow and develop their gifts and skills.

I've been out of pastoral ministry now for 14 years, but a couple of weeks ago I attended a CE event designed for pastors. It wasn't information I needed for my ministry, but because I work with pastors I wanted the information covered in that seminar to share with pastors.

When I was a pastor I constantly received invitations to various seminars and conferences. Even though I was bivocational, I tried to attend 2-3 a year because I wanted to grow. It required an investment of time and money that I didn't always have, but I considered it an essential investment in my own personal development as a minister.

I hope you feel the same way and have already attended such a seminar or are scheduled to attend one or two this year. God calls us to ministry and gives us the tools we need, but it is up to us to keep those tools sharp. Invest in yourself and your ministry.


Rev. Luckett said...

I would love to go to conferences but there are none close to the midwest area.

Dennis Bickers said...

Are you sure? When I was in pastoral ministry I received numerous brochures and information on conferences from all over the country. Christian universities and seminaries will sometimes have events the public is invited to attend. Denominations will offer conferences and workshops that are sometimes not limited to persons within their denomination. Keep looking and you'll probably find some that would appeal to you. If nothing else, talk your denominational leadership into inviting me to come and lead an event!

Rev. Luckett said...

Hi Dennis although I am nondenominational my Pastor is a Bishop and he is bivocational as well. He had to go back to work. I spoke with him about having a workshop for bivocational Pastors in Milwaukee and he thought it is a good idea. Can you give me some specifics on what it will take for you to host a workshop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? And also what are some of the content you may cover? What I would like to do is meet with him again and see if we can make this happen. He also mentioned contacting Pastors in Chicago and Indiana to garner interest and attend. You can email me at Thanks and God Bless