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Developing New Skills

“Um, I went to Bible College. I have a degree in youth ministry.”

I find myself saying that a lot when I’m frustrated. Sometimes when things aren’t going well on a project I suddenly feel way, WAY outside of my training.

  • I’m not an event planner! Right now I’m in full-on event mode, deep into producing Open Seattle and The Summit. (Less so the Middle School Ministry Campference.)
  • I’m not a video producer! But I’ve put together a bagillion videos lately for various Cartel things.
  • I don’t have a design degree. But, of course, I’m doing tons of work in Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Final Cut, etc.
  • I am not a programmer. But I’m spending a lot of time coding in php, developing WordPress themes and even trying my hand at plugins.
  • I’m not an accountant. But being a small business owner is forcing me to do things that I just pray don’t get me in trouble with the IRS.

The list goes on and on.

And the opposite is also true.

  • I pretty much took the summer off from youth group, I can’t think of the last time I did that and it felt really, really weird.
  • I rarely teach up front anymore, something 5 years ago I would have told you was one of my best skills.
  • While I wrote a curriculum earlier this year, I used to write 2-3 lessons per week.
Of course, I’m using so many of the skills I’ve acquired over the years. I don’t look at it as replacing skills, more like adding to them.

I guess the point is that I can’t get caught up on relying on the skills I already have to get to the dreams I have for tomorrow. The skills I have already will only  take me where I am today. To get to where I need to go I need to learn more.

What are new skills you are learning to achieve your dreams? 

4 Responses to Developing New Skills

  1. Rachel Blom August 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    A year and a half ago, I didn’t know anything about blogging. I could write, but I didn’t know anything about running a blog, designing a site, social media, ebooks, etc. Now I’m not afraid to say I’m quite good at it all (though there’s still loads to learn!). Ever since I had to leave my youth pastor job because of our move abroad, I’ve been developing new skills. It’s scary, uncomfortable, challenging and exhilarating at the same time. It’s taught me that skills aren’t set in stone and that even the stuff I’m good at (I am a natural organizer and manager), won’t always be part of my ‘job’…It’s about letting go, stepping out of my comfort zone and doing new things. Because you’re so right, the skills I already had will only take me where I’ve already been. I need new skills if I want to make my dreams come true.

  2. Brandon Pachey August 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Working on my dream by blogging, defining my dream and following it as a calling beyond normal youth ministry. Strangely thats meant stepping back from a FT ministry role to be a volunteer. Also trying to reach out to people like, well Adam and others that have been at this a while, which is why I love this blog!

  3. Charlie August 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I find myself saying quite the opposite. I did not go to a christian college and do not have a degree in ministry. I went to a state school, have a business degree, did internships for YM training, I’ve always loved creative stuff with video and graphics. I’ve got the admin stuff down, but I’ve had to really learn effective teaching, planning and implementing events and things, and even writing out lessons. I’m discovering church and team dynamics and leadership as I go. It’s a fascinating process but comes with a lot of trade off.

  4. Chris Schaffner August 29, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    I’m had to learn how to manage people better. I’m a doer by nature and there are some distinct skills needed to equip and empower others to do what you do to expand your ministry influence. I’ve also discovered that I can be very organized when needed. I was NEVER known by that trait but the skills of organization (time management, resource allocation, keeping my desk clean and organized) have allowed me to increase my reach and potential. My dreams are bigger/different due to developing these skills. Thanks for this post Adam. It’s good to reflect on.

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