My Mother wanted me to be a professional photographer. She thought I had a good eye for photography and she loved how passionate I was about it. I took classes starting when I was 16 and spent long hours in the darkroom trying things out. I like to think that some of what my Mom saw in me when I was in high school is part of me today: I am a developer.
The metaphor of developer is a good one. In photography a developer takes what is hidden on the film and brings it into the light. Ministry requires developer skills.
Developer is my fifth Core Competency for pastors and not just because I like photography. Like Connectionalism, Communication, Focus, and Professionalism, Developer is a key competency for today’s clergy leader.
Don’t relate to the developer metaphor? You can substitution your own – maybe for you it is the sculptor who by carving away the marble lets the art emerge, the gardener who tends the soil so seedlings grow big and strong, or the parent who sees the giftedness of each child and cultivates it forward.
Much of what good pastors do is uncover treasure that is hidden. Like the developer uncovers the photo hidden in the film, pastors uncover the Christ within people, communities and churches. It may be buried, damaged or forgotten but pastors are called to bring it into the light through:
Developing others – developing disciples & leaders (of all kinds).
Developing teams – for the work of ministry (both within the church and the community).
Developing community – both within the church and beyond. (This would include knowing the community so if you don’t know about missioninsite you need to check it out!)
Developing our own gifts —so we grow and expand who God has gifted us to be.
So are you a developer? How can will you give time to this core competency? These are important questions – because without the competency of developer a pastor may have ideas or vision about what could be but will lack execution. And, what could be in people, communities and churches will remain hidden.
So, what and who are you developing these days?