Yesterday, I spent a few hours with a pastor friend to get his counsel and insight on circumstances in my life—I knew I needed help to get to the next level of faith. The reason I’m telling you this is that I think it is easy for us to forget that our pastors, teachers, and leaders are people, who like us, are still growing!
The other day, I was reading a commentary on the story of Moses taking counsel from his father-in-law Jethro. What makes the incident somewhat remarkable is that Moses, preeminent leader of the Hebrews, took advice from an unrenowned farmer from the outback. Moses’ humility and teachable spirit is remarkable—recognizing his need for help to keep growing.
Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden (a born again Christian) was an inspiring example of continual learning and growing. After he had already won a national championship, he changed the offense he had used for years and learned a completely new one in order to maximize the potential of a new team and the talents of one player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The result: his team moved to an even higher level of play and won three consecutive national championships.
What is the point? We may look at someone like John Wooden, an accomplished coach, or our pastors and leaders and think they are all ‘grown up’! It is too easy to forget they are still growing; and they need our prayer and support. If we could consider anyone all ‘grown up’ it would be Paul. Yet he said “I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be” (Phil. 3:12). Nearing the end of his life, Paul was still growing. As are all of us.