Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Go Pro

The professional does not wait for inspiration; he acts in anticipation of it.
— Steven Pressfield - from "Turning Pro"

Turning Pro is one my favorite books by Steven Pressfield.

In fact, it may be one of my favorite books by anyone.

While Pressfield's book is primarily directed at writers, I believe the principle here is critical - for every profession.

Including those in the world of ministry. Maybe especially so.

I came from the world of Christian ministry. In that world professionalization is often looked down upon as unspiritual. Worldly. Irreverent. Unholy. If you professionalize as a pastor or a missionary or a member of the clergy, you lose credibility. You become just another Wall-Street-want-to-be who is peddling religion for your own gain.

This is bunk.

(At least it's generally bunk. There may be a handful of charlatan preachers to whom this doesn't apply - but I'm talking here to those who authentically want to love and serve.)

You can (and should) be both fervent in prayer and professional in attitude. You can be passionate about your work, and excellent in the details of work; including how you speak, how you study, and how you interact with the people around you. Productivity isn't exclusive to prayer and spirituality. In fact, I argue they're intricately connected.

Being a professional does not have to mean compromise.

Of course, professionalization will look different depending on your world. A pro-preacher will look different from a pro-writer, who will look other than a pro-CEO.

In the end we all should be seeking to get better, whatever your profession may be. To pray better, to preach better, to sell better, to merchandise better.

To lead better.

Embrace opportunities to develop. Like a Pro.

Where those opportunities are not available organically, make the choice to develop yourself. Learn and improve your craft. Act like a professional. Work like an artist.

And always get better.