This 250-page adult education curriculum was designed as an officer training manual for use in congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Late in 1991 the Rev. Marvin Simmers of the Congregational Ministry Unit of the PCUSA contacted the Rev. Donald Schroeder of the staff of Southern Kansas Presbytery to explore the idea of developing and field-testing an officer training resource. During 1992 a committee was appointed, with me as chair, to develop and test these resources. Over the next three years the committee met not only to devise materials but also to put on training sessions for pastors and church leaders in Southern Kansas. Marvin, Don and I then compiled much of the material into the notebook.
Though we devoted hundreds of hours to the project, I am afraid it was a failure. Once again, I ended up chairing an effort for which I had no specific talent and, in fact, no real knowledge. I was not and am not a curriculum developer; indeed, I don't think I am much in favor of standardized curricula for anything. Nevertheless, I think I was chosen to head up the effort because of my willingness to be helpful and my commitment to getting a task done. I also can come across as an intelligent and thoughtful contributor to projects, and people often mistake that as interest in what they want to accomplish.
I have never seen the resource advertised in church publications or heard of it being used anyplace. Even though it has some very good material in it, I think it faced the major problem of anything I might try to put out of a standardized nature: it just has too much of my individual "spin" on things. So, in fact, I think that the material was ultimately more of a hodge-podge of suggestions for training church leaders than any kind of "field-tested" resource for the future. I think I learned, gradually, through this project, that I ought to devote my best hours to things that I liked to do and was good at doing. As I tell in 52 and Strangely Found, I don't think that I truly began to do that until 2003.
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