The year four Apostolic Preaching Program students just finished having our weekly class with our practicum leader, Ian R. It’s caused me again to look at what we’re doing with our New Testament commentary and see again what it’s doing for me, and my little team of people who are working on it. I’ve been learning several lessons in this awesome, humbling, difficult, glorious project.
- I really appreciate the people I work with. Really. My little team of writers is amazing, and all bring such unique strengths to the table. Even through our rocky journey of figuring out how to do this as we go, bearing up under tight deadlines and heavy workloads, they have all done so with amazing attitudes and a spirit of excellence. I’ve gotten pretty close to these guys over the years of doing Night Watch APP together, but we’re growing even closer as we labor in the Word in a unified way, week in, and week out. Which brings me to point 2…
- Leading a team of close friends is difficult. Leading a team of close friends who are all also leaders is very difficult. I have a job to hold the line on deadlines and requirements, to cast a vision for where we’re going, to choose what does and does not go into our final commentary, and to handle everyone’s work in such a way that honors their voice, yet conforms to the flow of the overall book. Yet I’m leading my friends, so I can’t just crack the whip and order everyone around. I don’t want to lead that way at all, but especially not with my peers. Especially not my peers who are all themselves leaders. It’s a bit of a dance trying to figure out how to lead without either wimping out of what needs to be done or turning into an authoritarian bully. I want these guys to still be my friends on the other side of all this, but I can’t cower to my own sense of the fear of man. Hmm… good thing they’re all awesome.
- We have a really cool class of people. Just meeting with the editors has been fun for me to touch base with some people in other sections of the House of Prayer than myself, people I don’t normally have too much excuse or opportunity to connect with. And there’s no way to get to know one another quite like trying to work together and problem solve on a really challenging project! I am continually blown away with the level of biblical depth, leadership, and humility I see in my fellow editors as they face the different pressures and challenges unique to their group situations and scripture assignments.
- Four months is not that much time. For real. We’re almost halfway done with it already, which is kind of crazy to think about. Four months is really not that much time when you’re writing commentary on multiple New Testament books.
- Microsoft Word can either be your friend or foe, depending on what you’re attempting to do with it and how it thinks you should format what you’re doing…
- The Gospels are not quite as intimidating to study as I first thought. Sure, they’re still massive books, and sure, they still have volumes and volumes of depth to them. They’re about the life of Jesus, for crying out loud. But, I had no clue how to approach them before we started our commentary. I knew how to sit in a class and learn about them, but independent study still seemed terribly out of reach. I’m learning a lot about Luke.
- The word of God is “exceedingly broad” (Ps 119:96). Even after turning in pages and pages of notes, editing them, and adding to them, it feels like we’re blasting through these passages at a painfully fast pace. There’s so much good stuff still in there that was beyond our scope and time limitations to give comment.
Short story is that I’m honored to be a part of this project, as challenging and crazy as it is. I am growing a lot, and I can see my classmates growing a lot through it. I know God’s pleased with our efforts, even when we write goofy things, even when we freak out about the workload, and even when we don’t quite make deadline. There are seventeen FSM students in Kansas City that are tearing through the New Testament, trying desperately to communicate it to a generation who wants to learn how to pray. I fully believe that makes Him happy. 🙂