I've been thinking a great deal about character. Developing young, potential, pastors means finding ways to help men build competency, but it also means seeking opportunities for character development. Both competency and character are not merely about doing things over and over again. But it's not about doing something once putting it in the file and moving on. Neither is it about accidental success, especially in the area of character. And a head full of information doesn't automatically turn one into a skilled, successful pastor of outstanding character. IQ, EQ, social intelligence, and grit--these things combine like baking goods to produce successful pastors. But do we over-value IQ and undervalue grit? Might this hurting our ability to develop good pastors in the field?
What is it going to mean for pastoral development if we grow more aware of grit? That is, sticking to it, being about deliberate practice, 100% focused. What if we start providing more opportunities for failure, evaluation, and refocus for the purpose of learning and growing? What might happen if we develop ways to help trainees, interns, and pastoral residence better understand his or her emotional quotient, social intelligence, and grit? What are some ways to create ways to grow and learn in these other character areas? Can this even be done in a 6-month program or an 18-month residency?
At this point, I'm not sure about the answers to the questions I just proposed, but I believe they are vital to good, meaningful, pastoral development pathways.
I've picked up books to start getting my head around some of these ideas. For me, it started with a book called Brain Savvy Leaders by Charles Stone. This book is more about how the brain works, but I share this because it opened my mind to the reality that we are so much more than the information we've learned and retained. Another book in the stack is Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry. There's also Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. And if it's grit you're interested in, you really ought to watch Angela Duckworth's Ted Talk below and her longer Google interview about the topic.
Maybe this post is a bit premature; but maybe, like some of the things I've seen recently, it will cause you to think more about the other aspects that shape our character.