Lifelong learners. Creative teachers. Those traits are not just duties to be added to the overloaded pastoral job description. They are honors. Honors to lead us toward wonder, ways of noticing God in the moment. Learning more and teaching others—not just facts but realities of life, not just instructions but experiences, not just lists but change.
I’ve met many pastoral leaders who’ve chosen to strengthen their relationships with Christ through spiritual formation. I meet with one each week. Tracy Reynolds and I meet every week—he welcomed me when I entered my new career and we have continued the commitment of relational accountability. Together, we teach and learn.
Tracy is a man who never stops learning, and a man who is teaching us all. He plays the keyboard, sings, writes, teaches, reads, tweets, texts, mentors, counsels, leads, plans, travels, and is changing the world. I’m glad to be one of the many he’s changing. When his microphone is on and he’s facing a crowd.
When he’s in the office talking one on one. Spiritual formation is happening in his life and in the lives of others; he is a teaching learner.
In one our leadership training events, Tracy’s tone, facial expressions, and key points included clear honestly. Using Craig Groeschel’s sermon “Practical Atheist” as his guide, Tracy led us and brought change while confessing his own need to continue learning and being changed: “I am praying that God will disturb us.”
Tracy Reynolds, a college professor and church staff member and amazing musician, learned from someone else’s teaching. He used that to teach us. The teaching learner reminded me of what matters most. Just as Tracy had paused to receive, through him I did also.
I learned.
What have you chosen to learn recently?
How can both learning and teaching become part of our own spiritual development?
Think about the last three months. Write a list of what you have learned. Think about ways you can apply those lessons better, and how you can pass those truths on to others.

October is #PastorAppreciationMonth. Write thank you notes. Pray. Speak words of encouragement. And purchase copies of Pause for Pastors to give away as gifts to clergy.