An abbreviated version of this article was published on the Transforming Center’s website: What does transforming leadership look like for Pastor Noah Filipiak? Here is the full version:
I love seminary.
I have one seminary degree and look forward to going back for more.
With that said, my experience in a Transforming Community has been the most important ministry leadership training I have ever received. It’s not that it’s a competition between the type of things you learn in seminary and the type of things learned through the Transforming Community, it’s just very noticeable which ones are more emphasized in the Church today (and in my own ministry leadership life up to this point). Noticeable due to the amount of pain and personal struggle I and so many other ministry leaders have endured in our untransformed selves.
I’ve seen the same concept true at the gym. You often see people at the gym, usually fellow men, who are incredibly muscular. Muscles on top of muscles and they are straining to build even more muscles. I often wonder if these are NFL players or ditch diggers or some other occupation where this sort of strength would be beneficial. Obviously the strength isn’t there for pragmatic reasons. Meanwhile, as a former college track and cross country runner myself, I rarely see these muscle-bound titans hop on the treadmill or exercise bike. Lots of muscle is great, but if it’s the only thing that’s ever focused on, a person can spend all that time in the gym and still be a very ineffective athlete. After all, it’s pretty hard to be athletic if you can’t breathe! There’s nothing wrong with being a bodybuilder or doing a lot of strength training, it’s just caused me to notice an interesting parallel to ministry training.