Are You Learning Anything?

Courtesy of twechy/Creative Commons LIcense

In my senior year English class we were reading Go Down Moses by William Faulkner.  If you’ve ever read a book by William Faulkner you know it’s not an easy read (That’s stream of conscientious for you).  Because the book was difficult to read I instead chose to read the Cliff Notes to get more of a synopsis.  What I didn’t know is that Cliff Notes are meant to be an aid and not a substitute.  During the class I answered a question about the book that revealed that I knew more than I should have from just reading.  It was obvious that I cheated and the teacher called me out.  He later explained that he was disappointed not because I had cheated but because I had removed a learning opportunity.

In ministry there are going to be days, weeks and seasons where we are just doing and going.  When all we are focused on is getting the job done we risk missing out on learning opportunities for ourselves.  In the end you are just cheating yourself.  To be a leader you need to know how to learn and if you aren’t willing to grow, then you aren’t being leader.  Leaders are learners and learners are:

  • Tinkerers – Hobbies or jobs where you are putting stuff together, taking it a part, creating something from scratch is a good way of expanding your mind, memory and creativity.  When you can comprehend complex details and instructions it allows you to think critically.  
  • Readers – Doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction reading will stimulate your mind as you recreate a scene, inspire you with the stories of other individuals and challenge you in your beliefs and values. The more you read the more knowledge you will inherit. 
  • Listeners – There is so much you can learn from allowing another individual to talk.  You not only learn their story but you connect with them on a different level.  When you listen you learn how to help them, love them and guide them.  Not only that but you show them love and respect for giving your time.
  • Servers – When you get your hands dirty you learn a lot about yourself.  Serving others is not just about getting to know them but getting to know your limits.  Serving challenges you to grow as an individual because of the obstacles and barriers you experience or see others face.
If you are just doing and going and expect to grow then think again.  You need to be looking at different ways to learn.  It sounds like extra work, it can come off as a burden; however, the more you learn about yourself, those who surround you and new frontiers, the more you expand your capacity as a leader. The more you learn the better the leader because leaders are learners.

A leader is a learner and a learn is…fill in the blank.