A couple of times a year Austin Stone Worship hosts an event called "Intensive" -- a two day training for a small group of worship pastors from around the country. It's a chance for burned out and exhausted leaders to step off the front lines and be fed and refueled; both literally and figuratively.....seriously, so much food. 

During this last Intensive, my supervisor Justin Cofield shared a little bit behind ASW's cultural value of development and the why behind that. He spent time talking through the difference between development and discipleship and how both are necessary if we want to be like Jesus and care well for his bride, the church.

This value of development is also the heartbeat behind the two-year residency. I've loved spending Monday mornings in MWDP; the church's nine-month theological development program. We've learned about revelation and inspiration; how we got the Bible and why we believe it's trustworthy. We've learned about God's communicable and incommunicable attributes; the attributes of his character that we share with him, as people created in his image, and those that are reserved for him alone as God. Sunday mornings have been a hands-on crash course in worship leading and in relationship building as I serve the middle school and high school kids at our campus. My supervisor and I meet regularly to talk through points of feedback, to catch up on the joys and struggles of work, parenting and marriage and to read God's word together using the REAP method. All of this, in the name of discipleship and development.

I came into the program expecting to be taught in a classroom style setting and have since realized how much I'd be missing out on had that been the case. While there's been plenty of opportunities for that here, there's also a kind of shaping that can only happen in the real world -- where I fumble through an awkward conversation with a student over donuts before the service even starts or wake up early to set up chairs for an event. Transparently, some of the work is more fun and fulfilling than the rest but in the end, I'm grateful for the scope of this program, the heart behind it and for the ability to be involved in so many things, in so many different spaces.



While it's been an incredible couple of months so far, I'm still in the process of raising support for the next two years and would love the opportunity to share more about the residency! If you're interested in hearing more, please feel free to reach out here. I'd love to chat!