“We had a grand and glorious Sunday,” said Brother Bill to his fellow pastors on Monday morning.
“Every Sunday at your church is grand and glorious,” responded Pastor Pete. “At my church, I consider it a great Sunday if I don’t get fired!”
The other pastors chuckled nervously and drank some more coffee. Brother Bob reached for another doughnut and observed, “I just signed up for the next preaching conference. Where are you guys going this year?”
Before anyone else could speak, Reverend Richard blurted out, “I don’t do continuing education. Don’t believe in it!”
Richard was greeted with surprised looks from his colleagues, and Bob — wiping powdered sugar from his mouth — replied, “What do you mean you don’t believe in continuing education?”
“It’s like this,” answered Richard. “I did my time in seminary and that’s enough for me. I try to read a few books a year to keep up, but I don’t have time to bother with conferences and seminars. I don’t need that kind of thing.”
Steve smiled and said, “You know, I think Richard may be onto something here. Who really needs to go to conferences and seminars to update knowledge and skills? In fact, this may really catch on.
“For example, I suspect my doctor wastes an enormous amount of time and my money going to medical seminars. Why both? Didn’t he go to medical school twenty years ago? He was a good doctor twenty years ago and he can just keep on doing what he already knows how to do.”
Pete chuckled and agreed. “And the same thing is true with lawyers. I’ve got a couple of attorneys in my church, and they’re required to do a certain amount of continuing education each year. If it wasn’t for that, they’d have a lot more time to play golf!”
“This sort of thing even affects accountants,” exclaimed Bob as he finished off a chocolate glazed. “My wife does tax forms for people every spring, and they continue to insist that she come in each year to learn about changing rules and requirements. What’s wrong with doing taxes the way they’ve always done them?”
“That’s enough!” Richard replied. “OK, so maybe there are some benefits to continuing education. Anybody want to suggest what conference I should attend this summer?”
“I’d like to stay and help,” said Bob, dabbing the last chocolate frosting from the corner of his mouth. “But I’m running late for my weight-loss class.”

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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