I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come! Those are the lyrics to the famous song, now the official song of the city, written in 1952. Alright, to be honest, I’m actually heading to Leawood, Kansas, which is a southern suburb of the city to the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, which is the largest United Methodist Church. I’m going to attend their Leadership Conference for the second year in a row.
I’m looking forward to the speakers, the time in worship, and reconnecting with clergy colleagues from across the country. Chris Croyts, our Director of Discipleship, was just in Wichita, Kansas for the Apprentice Gathering at Friends University. Apparently, Kansas is the place to be anymore!
The reason I’m sharing these two events with you today is not to sell you on them. Although, they are both great gatherings to attend. I’m encouraging you to become a lifelong learner. Whether that’s going to hear some speakers, a lecture, or reading, it’s essential to keep learning. Sometimes that learning comes from attending an event, but more often than not it comes from going to the library or picking up a new book online on a topic that interests you. You can ask any of us on staff what we are reading and we could give you a number of books to pick up.
Now, you might be thinking, “Didn’t he just preach that we are to seek an experience of God through spiritual disciplines in his last sermon, now he’s telling us to study?” While that’s true, I think we need both. We need to activate our hearts and minds for constant worship of God throughout spiritual disciplines, service, and our everyday lives. I shared on Sunday that I recently read that “the ultimate goal of theology isn’t knowledge, but worship. If our learning and knowledge of God do not lead to the joyful praise of God, we have failed.” Our prayer, our study, and our reading should lead to the joyful praise of God.
I know when I attend a large gathering of Christian leaders where we sing, worship, and are challenged and inspired by scholars and preachers, I am often led to the joyful praise of God. I do believe that God invites us to become lifelong learners who never stop growing.
That’s my hope as I head to Kansas City. I hope to learn something new, worship with passion, and leave challenged and inspired to continue the journey of faith and Christian leadership. May you find ways to become a lifelong learner too.