Developing as a leader requires constant learning. Your growth will impact the lives of those around you. Here are three ways that you can actively keep growing.
We live in a culture where reading is undervalued. We take for granted that we learn to read as children and it is a skill that few continue to develop after their school years. Reading is one of the best ways to learn because of the wealth of knowledge that is available at your fingertips. Harry S. Truman once said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
If you aren’t reading, you are crippling your learning potential and you aren’t being a good steward of the leadership opportunities that God has given you. Start now by setting aside time each day to read.
2. Find mentors.
Seek out someone that you can develop a mentoring relationship with, but don’t stop at just one. Try to find mentors from several different disciplines. For instance, if you are a youth pastor, then try to find a youth pastor who has been in it longer than you. Consider also seeking out a pastor or other staff member, a parent from your ministry, or a business leader in your community. A combination of a few or all of these will help you learn from a variety of people, skill sets, and opinions.
As a leader you know there are always people who want to give you their opinion — but do you listen? This is an important discipline to develop and it can make or break you as you interact with people. It is true that not every opinion will be one that you need to act upon, but you still need to listen.
Don’t stare at them to make them feel like they have been heard, actually listen. Don’t listen just to form an argument of your own to tear apart everything that they have said. Listen. Once you have listened, take the time to think about and pray through what you have heard. Many times you will find yourself learning from something that you may have been against originally.
Have the heart of a learner. Sometimes learning can be difficult and painful. The easiest thing to do in those moments is to stop and go back to your old way of doing things. Fight against that temptation and continue to build
Ben Trueblood serves as the Director of Student Ministry for Lifeway Christian Resources and has served the local church as a student pastor for thirteen years.