The best leaders are autonomous, lifelong learners. In a time when constant change is the norm, ministry leaders must adopt a leadership style that allows for daily growth. Successful leaders challenge themselves to sharpen their skills and learn fresh ways of approaching ministry. So, how can you become a lifelong learner in a role that is often demanding and time-consuming?
Schedule time for reading and research.
Read books and research sermon publications. Discover a variety of reading materials to reflect on new ideas. Reading books that pertain to ministry leadership exposes you to distinct perspectives and encourages spiritual growth. Set aside an hour each day to read. Listen to sermons with different preaching styles to help you adapt to changes within ministry and solidify the knowledge you already have. Conducting ministry-related research helps you stay informed of current trends and foresee any changes on the horizon.
Connect with a personal network.
Take control of your professional development by building lasting relationships. Peers and mentors have a way of adding to your depth of knowledge in a practical and supportive way. Seek out intuitive individuals that aid in decision-making and offer unique outlooks. When ministry leaders come together and share experiences, the results are often open-mindedness and a profound understanding of what successful leadership means. Request feedback from professional connections and be proactive in the changes you would like to make.
Invest both time and budget.
Attending formal training classes and conferences is essential to your growth as a leader. Become a frequent member of seminars, workshops, and other endorsed learning opportunities, as they allow you to stay ahead of the curve by offering unique resources. Becoming a part of a structured learning community is part of the gratifying leadership experience because it increases your confidence and self-awareness. Evolve into a successful constant learner by pursuing professional learning opportunities to strengthen your expertise.
Expand your role.
Consider stepping outside of your role as a ministry leader, and visit other staff members. Take a walk in their shoes for a day by working in a different position and talking to people serving in various roles. Learn about the different jobs within your organization and how each individual role serves the overall mission of the campus. This allows you to expand upon your soft skills and sharpen your interpersonal capabilities. Learning about the unique jobs that drive the mission forward offers insight into any current needs and can help you foresee potential challenges. Ultimately, learn how your position as a ministry leader affects all the other roles you oversee.
As a busy leader, the journey to becoming a lifelong learner can seem daunting. Stand firm in a determined growth mindset, and you will succeed. Always remember that we are all a work in progress, as we are reminded in Philippians 1:6, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Jesus Christ.
We encourage you to remain teachable as a ministry leader and a follower of Christ. 15 Awesome Resources for Church Leaders offers refreshing resources and content to explore. Investing time and resources to become a leader committed to lifelong learning will surely benefit both your personal and professional spheres in the most rewarding ways.