It has been weeks and I still haven’t come down from my Hampton Minister’s Conference high. Every June thousands of us make our yearly pilgrimage to that amazing ministers’ conference. The resources are good. The fellowship is better. And the preaching is the best! This year was the 100th anniversary and as usual I left determined to tear up all of my sermon manuscripts and start all over again!
But this isn’t a PR piece for Hampton. It’s a reflection on an important investment that every leader needs to make. You must invest in you! Ellen White puts it this way, “Our first duty toward God and our fellow beings is that of self-development.” Our first duty! Seems selfish initially but it makes all the sense in the world. If you don’t develop yourself, you’ll be no good for your church or anyone else.
I stepped up to the line at Hampton and paid over $200 for my registration alone. In October I’ll pay just as much to attend Andy Stanley’s Catalyst conference in Atlanta. And there will be others. I do that because I realized early on that an investment in my personal development was money well spent. No pastor will ever reach maximum potential without recognizing the value of personal and professional growth.
We have to raise the bar on the amount of time and money we are prepared to invest in our own development. Over the next year, with the 2015 General Conference Session on the horizon, there will be a number of valuable events designed for pastors. Attend every one of them that you can. Thank God if your conference or local church helps with the expenses. But if not, as the Hebrew boys said, “Get there anyway!!” The fact is you will pay either way. You’ll pay the cost of attending a valuable conference or you’ll pay the price for neglecting your number one investment – YOU!
Oh yeah, the best leadership investment in the Adventist Church, in my not-so-humble opinion, is the Pastors Evangelism and Leadership Council – PELC. December 7-10 at Oakwood University. $29 early bird and $39 regular registration. It’s not a misprint. It’s a no-brainer.
 E.G. White, Sons and Daughters of God, p. 313.