During our Lewis Fellows workshop, Lovett Weems shared that it takes about 10 years to develop expertise. (I also heard a stand-up comedian say that it takes about 10 years to find your voice as a comedian.)
But it isn’t just 10 years of sitting around and letting time pass. It’s 10 years of being pushed, challenged, being supported, being held accountable that the person gains expertise.
He talked about a pastor who was moved every 3 years, claimed to have 30 years of experience. But Weems explained that it was more like 3 years of experienced repeated 10 times, because that pastor never learned, never grew, but kept repeating the same 3 year pattern 10 different times…
He explained that great leaders are very good from learning form experience.
That got me thinking about a time long ago, when I was in my mid to late twenties.
I really thought that I knew everything. 3 years removed from 27, I realize that what I had was the raw passion, but lacked in knowledge, and of course experience.
I see my younger friends in ministry thinking like the way I did.
We have the passion, but it’s often not rightfully equipped with the knowledge and experience.
I now understand the importance of the things that happened before my time. The past and tradition is not something to be completely ignored and dismissed. For change to happen, the past needs to be honored and celebrated just as much as the change that is needing to happen.
What I know now is the things I don’t know.
I used to think I knew a lot more than the people around me and the people who went before me. But, really, I know there’s a lot more that I don’t know.
And at the young age of 30, I can’t confuse my passion for certain things as expertise in that area.
My seminary professor once prayed, “Humble us where we are strong, and equip us where we are weak.”
I think that’s a good prayer for me to pray as I continue to learn and grow as a pastor.