mind the gap

there’s a big chance that you are -like me- a little more pragmatical person. dozens of theoretical books to read for exams, personal development and in order to make it as a professional. at least that’s what the certificate states.

i for myself enjoy to learn from the books professors recommend as compulsory. but sometimes i have the feeling it’s not enough for a proper preparation. many university courses are not a “how-to” or don’t inspire sufficiently. there is a big gap between theory and practice, theory and inspirational learning. if the educational system is not fairly practical, we might find ourselves in the situation of not knowing what to do with the thousands of pages we read.


so let’s try to mind the gap. mind the gap – originally used to warn passengers getting on the train/bus/metro – has also the meaning to deal with the void. in our case the void between uninspiring theory and practical ability.

here’s what i propose in order to mind the gap:
during studies or already being in practice search for people in you profession that inspire you. if it’s possible meet and ask for advice – until here nothing new or complicated. but an old roadster can surely recommend some good books to read for your profession. and i’m sure, that one who is in the profession for many years, won’t suggest you books that are packed with boring or ununderstandable theory. instead, they will give you titles that will inspire and grow you wings.

i ask every pastor, psychologist, theologian and people who work in a helping profession to give me their top 5 list of books that could inspire me as a further professional. i collect the lists and after 15-20 lists i compare the lists and choose the books with the most occurrences and add them on my to-read list.

this is one practical way i try to mind the gap.

what’s your excuse?


i have a question

i am sure many of you heard the big pedagogical contradiction of organised education: the one who is supposed to give the answers is asking (teacher), and the ones supposed to ask questions (students) are required to answer them.

the truth of course is, that this situation is overdone by students (mainly by those who don’t like to learn) and it is mostly true when a repetition class is held. anyway, this exaggerated situation shows us clearly, that the one who asks the question, has always the easier part of the given situation. just ask my friend, who recently had a few austere job interviews and had to answer hundreds of unanswerable questions – he was happy to end the sessions and be done with the fire of purgatory, he told me.

the one who asks the question is the one who can lead the conversation. and if you know how to ask questions, you can lead the conversation and situation wherever you want to arrive. (those who work in a leading position and want to know more about asking questions the right way, i suggest this link as a good start: https://hbr.org/2011/08/the-art-of-asking-questions – and contact me later to talk about it).

but it’s not only the business world where you can use your ability of a good questioner. everyone who has to memorise or to know the content of a given text, should make use of the ability to ask questions. for every high-school test, exam material or content of a paper or book, here is a great rule in order to know better the content: the text is the answer, you have to ask the questions.


  1. first of all, let’s admit, that while you read a paper, you are too busy paying attention to underline the details, mark the most important information, finish the work. maybe it’s familiar to you too, that after a few pages you ask yourself: what did i just read until now?! that’s because you don’t stop to think, rethink. well, by forcing yourself to formulate the right questions you have to stop, overvalue, think and think outside the box. try it out: one question after every page, should do the work for the start.
  2. after reading a paper, you can sum up how much you remember of what you just read by writing down all the questions you can formulate, but you have to be able to find the answers from the text. make cards and write down on every card a question & after that search and write down the answer on the given card. reread the content of the cards. after a while you will associate every answer by the question you formulated yourself.

it’s not about discovering America again, it’s not rocket science.

it’s all about discovering your strength, by making use of the ability of curiosity that everyone has.


ask questions. associate. develop.  

time for questions




maundy thursday

when he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “do you understand what I have done to you? you call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. if I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. for I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you”. John 13. 12 – 15

dear teachers of children’s ministry, dear teachers of Word of God

this story out of which i have quoted a few verses is usually read and quoted mainly when the speaker wants to talk about christian community, in feast period and as we approach easily to Easter, mainly on maundy thursday. it happens on the last supper, where Jesus gives an example worth of following for all those who believe in Him.

now, i challenge you to read this part from the Bible with a pedagogical eye, heart and mind, with pedagogical professionalism and in the sense of true leadership. because i truly believe that by this story Jesus wants us to teach not only how to act in a christian community, or in christian life in general, but would also like to show us, how to teach, and how a teacher should approach to a child, to a disciple and how should a leader behave.

if I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet

i remember myself as the little boy who always loved to play outside, rather than in between four walls and a roof. and that happened also during sunday school. i never made handy crafts, i always wanted to play outside. even on a rainy day, after a huge rain or while raining. and i loved to step in dirt. i enjoyed jumping in all the dirty places you could imagine. in ten minutes of play time, i’m telling you, i was able to gather the whole dirt of the world on my shoes. and then there is this sunday school teacher. she is supposed to return me back to my parents after the class is over, exactly the way i arrived there. so i remember standing in front of this sunday school teacher. she was always helping me to clean my dirty shoes. when i didn’t wanted to do it, she would kneel down in front of me and clean my shoes herself. i have a strong picture of this teacher every time: i stand there with my dirty shoe, she is kneeling in front of me and as i look in a position down, she is cleaning my shoes. she cleaned my shoes. she washed my feet. i can ever since than look up to this teacher.

because that is the way she was doing everything: teaching, praying, talking with the children, talking with everyone. she had a holy humbleness, which can be the best characterized with this action: kneeling down and cleaning my shoes, washing my feet.


i believe, this is the only way you can be good teachers, pastors, leaders, ministers, missionaries.
teachers with head, who wash the feet of their disciples.