Israel of Bust - The Better Educated Clergy Spouse....
Happy Dad’s Day to me! One of the most consistent ways Rebekah (The Preacher) and I have defined “the Good Life” has been our continuous commitment to ongoing and challenging education. We’re not hooked on degrees, necessarily – but we are very much committed to the principle of life-long learning, and most especially when it comes to living as followers of the Way of Jesus.
And, yes, there is an important distinction between loading up on the diplomas (so we have some to hang on the wall)… and actually expanding our minds because we want to be responsible stewards of the gift of learning.
Take, for example, churches that believe it’s important the senior minister comes loaded with the correct set of letters behind his or her name. We’ve even known people here at fpcBrandon who’ve attempted to pressure Rebekah to add another academic degree. D-Min, or PhD? It doesn’t really matter so long as they can refer to the minister as “The Reverend Doctor So-and-So….”
I know preachers who buy in to this too, becoming partial to wearing academic and profession titles on their sleeves like some kind of personal decoration – kind of an ecclesiastical bling.
My preacher spouse isn’t going to earn either a D-Min or a PhD; you can count on it! And, yes, those of you who believe she should get one to park by her name on the church letterhead and the Sunday bulletin, I really did say that out loud! Believe me, it isn’t going to happen!
However, that doesn’t begin to mean she’s not committed to continuing education, all about ongoing study, and doing everything possible to be a more deliberate student of faith. She’s going to keep learning her Bible, she’s going to be continually involved in professional development, and she’s always going to study what it means to lead a discipleship-driven church in the 21st Century.
And… not only is “The Preacher” a faithful student of The Way of Jesus, she’s a huge encourager when it comes to the better educated clergy-hubby (see exhibit A, right here…).
Which all comes as background to explaining the picture that leads off today’s “The Preacher’s Husband” blog post.
Rebekah is going to the Middle East, to participate in two-week seminar sponsored by the Asbury Theological Seminary and led by a cutting-edge New Testament scholar!
Cool beans, granted… but here’s the “preacher-hubby” part. Today, enclosed in my Father’s Day card, I discovered a pile of Monopoly money designed to represent my ticket on the same tour! Yes, you heard it here first – I’ll be going on the trip too. Israel, Jordan, Egypt. 2012…
Here’s the thing. I don’t care if you’re 25, 40, 55 or 70… there’s always so much more to learn, and so many ways that we can grow. In my church, it comes with the territory. And, the way I experience faith, learning is a no-brainer. It’s how we’ve always done things in the family Rebekah and I launched July 18, 1979 – and it’s still going ahead full steam.
I’ll keep you posted on the details. This is going to be awesome!