The Pastor and Paterno

Paterno 816_0I had to write this returning home from church today.

First off, I’m not going to “bible beat” you or stand on a pedestal and preach.  My flaws are far too long to list in one blog post.  If you want to go to church then go.  If you don’t, then stay at home.  What I’d like to share with you today however was a lesson in learning.

Oddly enough, it had nothing to do with the sermon.  I got to thinking about the role of a pastor in the church and the work of delivering a sermon every Sunday.  Every Sunday from the same book this pastor or one of his peers helps us try to learn and understand more from only one book.  The Bible.

Every lesson, every week, every day is devoted to the work from this one book.  How many of us have the patience or persistence to continue learning from one book the rest of our lives?  Maybe this is a little too deep, so as my mind was wandering I tried to relate it to something else.

Football.  Yes, football is like the church and a coach is the pastor.  Now I’ve gone completely nuts!

Not sure why, but I immediately thought of Joe Paterno.  Controversial figure in the last few years, but I found Joe was a great lesson in the devotion a pastor displays.  Joe coached football for five decades at Penn State.  One school, one game, one focus.  Sure the rules changed over the years, and the players changed, but he was still coaching football every day.

The most interesting takeaway I came up with is that in each of these two scenarios (the pastor and Paterno) each was devoted to not only their craft, but a lifetime of learning.  People change, what’s socially acceptable to preach about changes, technology is evolving us all, but their core teachings remain laser focused.  Every single day they were going to get a little better.  Every day they were going to learn something new about their team, their staff, or the game/mission they were teaching.

I look back at my career in marketing and advertising and I’ve invested 10+ years in the process.  Author Malcolm Gladwell says in his book Outliers: The Story of Success it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field of study.  I’ve included links here for you if you’re interested.  

Do the math, it’s 20 hours a week for 50 weeks a year for 10 years.  I believe I’ve put in this measure of time, but when looking at the pastor and Paterno there is so much more to be learned in the next 40,000 hours.

ACTION ITEM: My challenge like most of you reading this is to remain passionate about what I’m doing and to continue learning every day like the pastor and coach Paterno.  It takes two things to turn a lump of coal into a diamond.  Persistent pressure and time.

Sign-up for Keen Mind updates! (It’s Free)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *