I'm part of a fellowship program at VDS. Our official title is Turner Leadership Scholars. Me? A scholar? It makes me chuckle. I'm not. Sure, I've been in school since I was five years old. Sure, I do okay in the classroom. My GPA was better in college. Grades matter more then. I talk a much better game than I write. I've never been a writer. I'm a talker. Not a scholar. I'm a leader. Not a scholar. I'm a minister. Not a scholar.
The people above are my friends. And according to VDS, they are scholars, too. They are...but not me. These folks have reflected and supported with me over the last two years. I get one more year with them. Well, they will be with me for the rest of my days. They are smart, creative, and thoughtful leaders. I'm lucky.* And they will be there long after graduation. They keep me on my toes. We don't always agree. By knowing these scholars I am presented with the other perspective, a new way, and the challenge to do the hard work. To continue the hard work of ministry. And continue with joy.
They pick me up. And listen. Even respond. But they think. And think. Think some more. Deep and intense thoughts about being better leaders, compassionate ministers, prophetic pastors, and people full of God's love. And me, I get to listen. Even respond. If I can get my thinking up to their level.
I call them scholars. Because they are.
*So, I've been told using the language of "lucky" is not...right? Luck implies something...wrong. Something other. Something out of the control of God. By chance. That's what I've been told. Maybe blessed is better? Maybe. I'm guessing I will continue to use the language of "lucky." It's in the vocab.