One of the ruts that church leaders seem to get into is…believing that God only speaks through times of prayer or Bible study. Don’t get me wrong, God does indeed speak during our times of quiet reflection, prayer, Scripture study and meditation. However, He also speaks through other leaders. I learned a long time ago…that while I’m an expert on the vision and culture of Compass Point Church…I am still a student when it comes to implementing ideas, plans and strategies to reach the goal of our church. I also learned the hard way that it is easy to stop being spiritually fed while I’m trying to prepare to feed others. Failure to continue educating yourself in new ways to reach people for Jesus Christ and ceasing to look for outside avenues of spiritual feeding…is the death nail for church leaders…and ultimately the church.
I am always looking for new ways to continue my leadership education. There are the occasional conferences, network meetings or seminars…but those are only a few times each year. I have found that in order to stay a doctrinally sound leader focused on the vision that God gave us for Compass Point it is necessary to do things on a hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis to continue my leadership education. I have broken down the things I do below:
Daily #1 – I start each day with prayer and Bible study. I keep an ongoing prayer list on my iPhone so I can access it several times a day. I also spend about 30-45 minutes each morning just reading Scripture. I don’t have a set reading plan…I almost never use a set devotional guide…I just read in the Bible wherever I feel the Holy Spirit leading. This daily Bible reading has nothing to do with sermon prep…it is strictly for personal feeding for myself.
Daily #2 – I follow about 40 blog posts through my Google Reader. Many of the bloggers I follow are friends of mine or fellow church leaders. I cannot begin to convey the amount rich ideas and thought-provoking truths God lays on my heart from the blog posts I read. Seldom does a day go by when I do not have an idea or new strategy that is born out of what I read online.
Hourly – I keep track of dozens of church leader’s, pastor’s and business professional’s Twitter posts through TweetDeck. I have the iPhone app as well as the desktop version. Through TweetDeck I am able to give my favorite leaders a column of their own so I never miss a nugget of leadership truth from them. I check TweetDeck about every other hour just to get a leadership boost from what they post.
Weekly – Every Tuesday afternoon I watch NewSpring Church’s video playback of their Sunday service. Not only do I get to hear excellent preaching, but I also get to experience their entire worship set. On Thursday afternoon I will usually listen to another sermon via a podcast on iTunes. I kind of rotate around to several different pastors and churches that I find challenge me with their preaching.
Monthly #1 – Each month I get together with other pastors of innovative churches in the Tampa area. Not only are these guys my friends…but they lead churches that are reaching people far from God. They bring to the table many creative ideas for leading a church and for presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a hurting world. It’s a monthly version of “iron sharpening iron”.
Monthly #2 – I read a book. Sometimes it’s a church leadership book. Other times it’s a doctrinal book. Still other times it’s a basic business leadership book. There are times I read the entire book and there are times I get bored and don’t finish. Either way I’m constantly learning something new by reading a book or two each month.
In order to take Compass Point where God is calling us to go I know I need to keep getting better as a follower of Christ and as a leader. The methods described above help me greatly in that goal. As a leader what are you doing on a hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis in order to continue your leadership eduction?