I went on vacation this week (sort of). As an alumnus of Regent University School of Divinity I am eligible to take up to four masters-level classes for $100 each. It’s a little complicated, but basically I can take classes I wasn’t able to take before I graduated at a drastically reduced rate. (A regular class right now costs each student $1575!) Since $100 for an entire course is significantly cheaper than most weekend ministry conferences and I’d get to go back to one of my favorite places on earth, I decided to take them up on the offer. I signed up for a class called “Models of Biblical Discipleship” which is being taught by one of my favorite professors. I worked as Dr. Chandler’s graduate assistant and took several classes with her. She has been instrumental in forming my thoughts and plans regarding ministry. She is a wonderful, godly woman who I cannot say enough about.
I needed to go to Virginia Beach for a weekend to take this class. It’s an eight-week course, but the majority of it is done online with the exception of the 2 ½ days in class. I looked into driving the fourteen hours it would take and crashing on a friend’s couch, but that did not seem like the ideal way to set myself up for learning. Let’s see… sit in a car for 14 hours, sleep on someone’s cramped couch, then sit in class for 8 hours a day before you get back in the car and sit for another 14 hours. I don’t think so!
So I decided to do the “grown up” thing – I booked a flight, got a hotel room, and rented a car. I found the best deals I could on all of this stuff and found creative ways to pay for it. I also decided if I was going to be at the beach for a few days, I’d extend the trip a little longer so I could actually enjoy the beach. I haven’t been on a vacation that didn’t include driving home to South Carolina in six years, so I figured it was time. Then it crossed my mind that this trip might not be so fun by myself… I’d booked a hotel right on the beach and it would sit empty most of the time with no one to enjoy it. So, I mentioned it to a couple friends who I thought would probably be able to go with me and suggested they book their own flights and join me. Amazingly, they both agreed and without a whole lot of thought or planning, we were off to the beach.
After sitting in class for the last 2 ½ days, I’m ready to do something fun and spend the next 1 ½ days enjoying the beach. Of course, it’s raining, but I’m still on vacation! I’m planning to visit the church I attended while I was here and take each moment as it comes. I also got to reconnect with some old friends.
As for what I learned this weekend, it was all about how to build relationships with people and nurture them in their relationship with Christ. It’s a beautiful concept and I’m looking forward to implementing it in a more intentional way in the future.