Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lifelong Learning

A little girl returned from her first day at school. Her mom asked, “Did you learn anything?”

“Apparently not enough” the girl responded, “I have to go back tomorrow and the next day and the next…” (Max Lucado – Life Lessons Study Guide: Philippians).

Life long learning is exactly that, going to class every day. The things we learned today are important, but there is much more to discover. The knowledge we acquired yesterday (even 20 years ago) must be revisited frequently.

Recently I stood before a group of pastors and discussed the difference between being “missional” and being “missiological.” Like all classes, most in attendance were engaged, taking notes, asking questions. There are always a few, however, who act disinterested as though they heard it before or “what am I going to learn from this old man?” When young missionaries dismiss those who have a few miles on them I want to remind that Donald McGavran was still developing new missiological thought when he was in his ‘90’s. Peter Drucker, the guru of all business thinkers, was counseling and speaking until he died after in his ninth decade.

Standing before a group of young college students the old professor was challenged by the insolence of those whose knowledge superseded their intelligence by stating. With a tone of exasperation the old man declared, “I have forgotten more than you have yet learned.” It’s not how much one knows or has forgotten that’s the issue, but process of growing. Like the little school girl, we never learn enough, so we go back to class again tomorrow and the next day and the next…”