Check it Out

Check It Out: Teaching on the Go

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Today’s check it out is from the Lessons on the Farm series. In it, I talk about the need to teach as you go. You can click here to go directly to it, but here’s a clip before you head that way:

But more than what I was taught, I remember how I was taught: in the moment, sometimes being shown how, sometimes being told, usually realizing after the fact I had more to learn.

Click here for the rest!

 

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3 Questions, Big Picture

How I Use the 3 Questions for Student Leadership

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Today, I’m going to layout a little bit of the strategy of how I’m using the 3 questions to train and equip student leaders.

If you’re not familiar with what the three questions are, I would encourage you to go read this first.

Now that you’ve read it, here we go.

Teaching the 3 Questions

I first taught the three questions to student leaders in August of 2016. From there, we’ve been on a bit of a journey. When teaching the concept, it helps to give plenty of examples. For our context, the simplest examples we use are: setting out chairs, getting ice, filling cups with ice, setting out Bibles, sitting with students who are visiting or sitting by themselves, connecting with people outside of one’s circle, stacking chairs, clearing tables, etc.

I really think the 3 questions are a simple shift in perception. If I can get students to see the world around them through the lens of the 3 questions, then I’m equipping them 1) to see the world differently and 2) to change it.

Along the lines of this shift, one thing I’ve noticed is there are two kinds of people: those who naturally recognize opportunities, and those who don’t. I don’t think it’s a character flaw to be the latter, but it does make answering the questions more difficult. I also think this is true of adults. Some people are naturally wired to help and to serve, and for others, it’s a choice they make along the way.

Overcoming obstacles

After a few months of implementing the 3 questions, I noticed our student leaders were only asking other student leaders to help them accomplish tasks instead of leveraging their influence to include outsiders. We talked about it as a team, and I challenged them to include people who weren’t on leadership team, and they started doing so.

One of the coolest things for me to see was on a Wednesday night before anyone else showed up, a boy (who wasn’t on leadership team), walked in and unknowingly answered the 3 questions by putting chairs out. He didn’t know the framework, but he knew he had been included in putting chairs out enough times that he knew it needed to be done. This has happened several times.

There’s More

To this point, what I’m doing may not seem like much, but on Thursday I am going to unpack what I’ve learned a little more. For me, teaching students to answer the 3 questions has been a journey for everyone involved. I hope you’ll check back on Thursday.

 

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Leadership Journey

Sharpening Your Leadership Sword, pt 2

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On Tuesday, I posted about finding ways to develop your leadership daily and weekly. Today, I’m going to look at something that’s a bit of a long range view: conferences.

Now, to be fair, I’m not a well traveled and varied conference goer. What I do have, however, is my own experience.

There is a conference I go to almost every year hosted by the Baptist General Convention of Texas called Texas Conclave. In relative terms, this is a smaller conference (hundreds, not thousands) that features main room sessions, breakouts, and an exhibit hall.

A few years ago I came to the realization my greatest takeaways from Conclave are usually the relationships–connecting with friends who have moved away, catching up with buddies from college, and meeting new guys who are doing things right in their context.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the main room teaching, and walk away with encouragement and inspiration following most of the breakout sessions I attend, but for me, the value of Conclave is in the relationships.

I have also been able to attend Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit a few times in recent years. I go to a satellite site that is attended by a relatively small number, so I get excellent teaching and lots of relational time.

Are you sensing a theme? I’m fueled by relationships. I love hearing what other people are doing and learning from their passion and heart. I enjoy connecting with friends. This, perhaps more than any conference, is worth it’s weight in gold.

So, how do you sharpen your sword? Know yourself. Find what excites you, and embrace it. Provide yourself with opportunities to build on what motivates you, and watch your leadership grow.

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Check it Out

Check It Out: Training with a Purpose

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I’ve been blogging now for 8 months. That’s a lot of posts. But the posts I got the most feedback on were from my “Lessons from the Farm” series where I reflected on leadership learnings I’ve gleaned from my time growing up working on my dad’s farm.

Today’s Check It Out is the first post from that series, and one that I needed reminding of this week: Training with a purpose. Click here to check it out.

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3 Questions, Leadership Journey

Sharpening Your Leadership Sword

sharpen your sword
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How do you sharpen your leadership sword?

Obviously, the most efficient way you do so is by reading this incredible blog. But other than that, what have you built into your daily and weekly rhythm to help you expand your leadership ability?

I’ve talked around this subject before, but perhaps you learn by reading, or by listening to podcasts (I share some of my favorite podcasts in this series of posts).

Here are a few thoughts I have about how to build into your rhythm a sense of leadership development:

  1. Books – nothing says “grow in leadership” like a book that promises to grow your leadership. A strong student can find a leadership book geared for any walk of life and apply the principles to their own context and experience in some way. Find a good book this week!
  2. Blogs – Again, if you’re reading this blog, you’re already at the head of the class. Well, maybe not, but if you’ve stuck with me this long, thank you. I do remember, actually, a blog I ran across years ago in my ministry that was my first read every day when I walked into the office, and something that regularly challenged me where I needed challenges, grew me where I needed growth, and seemed to always offer encouragement at just the right moment. Find something along these lines that encourages you.
  3. Podcasts – See this series of posts to see the podcasts that I make regular parts of my day or week. I’m an auditory learner and processor, so listening to conversations help me stay sharp.
  4. Table fellowship – Now, this may sound extra corny and church-y, but I love spending time around the table with other ministers who love God and love people, and are striving to equip those around them to do the same. There is something unique about including people into your life who are every day experiencing the same but different situations.

The bottom line is if you are serious in growing in your leadership, you have to be serious about learning. However you learn best, embrace it. Don’t be comfortable, but don’t guilt yourself into apathy, either. Always be willing to learn, and your leadership will continually expand.

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