LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Leaving the Prescribed Path

Last night I told my dad that the kids are doing well in school. Heather (8th grade) and Megan (6th grade) both got a 4.0 in the first quarter, and Hunter (4th grade) just tested at an 8th grade level in all three areas that are measured. Taylor (K) has mastered everything he is supposed to know when entering 1st grade.

My dad said that Faith must have really good genes. That's probably true. Neither of my parents finished college. My brother, Joe, didn't finish either. Me? Well, I never started. My sister, Dena, is the lone college graduate on my side of the family.

A few years back a friend said to me, "It's really cool that you don't act self-conscious about not attending college." My reply was, "Dude, it's not an act." (If I'd gone to college, I probably would have known not to say "dude" in a sentence). His paradigm said if you are going to accomplish something in life, you go to college. In fact, that was (and still is) the prescribed path for all high school graduates who plan on getting a good job and living the American dream.

I'm grateful for parents who let me pursue God's will rather than going the normal path. I'm grateful for the wise advice of adults around me who knew me well--they encouraged me to continue being a learner as a way of life. They said things like, "Never stop asking questions.  You don't need the structure of college if you just determine to never stop learning."

I think sometimes we follow the "prescribed path" blindly without asking the question, "Is that the right path for me?" We follow the normal or cultural thing to do--and possibly miss doing something unusual or revolutionary.

What direction might God want to take our churches if we thought outside-the-box, if we didn't just jump on the band-wagon of the latest and greatest method?