The first real surprise that I had was being able to attend George Fox. Up to the last minute I did not know whether it was going to happen. My wife kept showing me pictures of South Africa and I really did not want to be disappointed if I was not able to attend. I really hit the ground running and was not really familiar with our course site yet so I got a little behind. Also I was surprised about changing from my original emphasis to another one I became really interested in Missional ministry when I thought I would really be more interested in Servant Leadership. The missional church has this type of leadership but my emphasis is more on the missional church because it strays away from the attractional ecclesiastical structure. “The missional church is incarnational, not attractional, in its ecclesiology. By incarnational we mean it does not create sanctified spaces into which unbelievers must come to encounter the gospel.” Many of the churches in my denomination have become like this. They never leave their four walls to do ministry. They think like the people should come to the gospel instead of taking the gospel to the people.
I was also surprised at how I have changed this year. I took the Myers Briggs test three times and I have gone from an extrovert to an introvert. At Biola university years ago I was really extroverted. And since September of 2014 I have went from a moderate extrovert to a low extrovert to my last test as an introvert. I have had so many changes I had to adjust to this year with the passing of my father and other issues that I have changed a lot. Ministry wise have gotten out of the four walls of my church. I have begun a home Bible Study at one my church members house. I have also extended this invitation to any church member who wants us to have one at their house. I am doing this to move into this incarnational type of ministry that the missional church is. I have become more interested in my college work too because I see that it so important for my understanding the type of issues that are important in my ministry.
I lead differently now in a few different ways. One of the things I feel that has affected my leadership is the importance of understanding culture from the readings we have had. I lead from the perspective of understanding that culture matters and context matters. I don’t look at ministry like one size fits all. This is a huge area that has impacted my leadership. I have also become more relaxed in my ministry because I believe that my vision is getting sharpened and I don’t feel like I have to measure up to something else. By this I mean it’s so easy to be trying to do what your denomination requires when that may not be what God is calling you to do. I am taking more initiative to lead with what I have been studying and writing about and it is really something I have wanted to do deep down do for a long time. In Post Modern Pilgrims Leonard Sweet said, “post moderns don’t give their undivided attention to much of anything without it being interactive.” I am more interactive with my church members by the home Bible Study at their house. It has really made an impact on them and me.
The reading this year has been important too. I did not know that a direction was being laid when I started. But the readings have been leading up to more and more important issues in leadership. For instance the last reading was about Hong Kong and how it is today and its history. We are going to be going there in September and the book shed light on what it will be like and what to expect. All of the readings have been like this they have been leading up to something important in the semester. I have not only found them to be illuminating but life changing. I am putting words and ideas to things in my ministry and life.
The international advances have been life changing as well. I have never been out of the country before. As I stated before I really wanted to go to South Africa. And stepping on African soil is something I have not got over yet. I still talk about it like I just went and got back. I believe the Hong Kong advance will also lead me into a more global perspective as well. Really looking forward to it.
Finally the Project Learning Development Plan has been very helpful as was stated above because it is changing as the program advances. As was said early I can see a distinct change in my personality and in my overall view of the program. It is getting better and better and I feel like this coming semester will be one of my best. I feel that it is working to better develop my perspectives and to better understand the program.
I can truly say that out of all of my college experience this had been one of the most beneficial and important years in my education as it relates to ministry and my personal development. I loved the program curriculum, advances and emphasis the first time I read it. I had been looking at going to Liberty, Fuller or Azusa Pacific one day before I chose George Fox. I prayed and I believe that God without a doubt truly answered my prayers through choosing this program.
 Ed Stetzer, Planting Missional Churches: Planting a Church That’s Biblically Sound and Reaching People in Culture (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2006), 162.
 Leonard Sweet, Post Modern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century World (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 61.