Friday, January 20, 2012

Professional Development Days

Today is Dave’s birthday and I think the best present that he will receive came from the school board. It is a professional development day for the boys, so he gets to spend the day with his kids. He rarely gets a day off so I am trying to cover the other business that needs to happen before we head out this weekend and let him enjoy his day. Maybe he’ll take the boys tobogganing for the first time this winter. If you are in the neighbourhood feel free to stop by for some cake later on tonight.

I have always loved professional development days. As a kid they meant a break from the regular routine of school and an extra day to sleep in. As a teacher, they meant an opportunity to sharpen my skills and interact with colleagues as well as a bit of a breather from the routine. The other thing that I appreciated about PA days as a teacher is that they are usually planned for you. Someone else decides when they will occur and most often what will be on the agenda. As a church leader, I am responsible for my own professional development which can provide its own challenges. It is great when I am in Canada and have access to conferences and seminars like the church planting congress that we went to last November. However, it can be a little more challenging when we are in Niger. I recently read a book that was lent to us, Leading on Empty. In which the author recommends a monthly spiritual retreat day (among other things) during which time a person does a number of things to reconnect with God, reflect on priorities, ministry and passion –basically to become more intentional and accountable in your relationship with God, your personal life and your work. Isn’t that what we all need?

Please pray for me that I would be able to make time for this valuable activity. You can also pray for my health—I am struggling with a cold that turned into a sinus infection this week. It has really done a good job of draining my energy.

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