The Greatest Secret for Continuous Learning

Auxano is a ministry guided by three values:

  1. Clarity First
  2. Carnivorous Learning
  3. Contagious Passion for the Church, the Bride of Christ

 

Our second value is anchored by the mantra: Lead with questions, not answers.

To some degree learning comes natural and is guided by human curiosity. But in other ways learning is a skill to be cultivated. As I’ve tried to grow as a learner, I have gained one overarching insight; one great secret:

Learning is a free, daily opportunity to those who seize it.

  • Anyone I meet can teach me something
  • People always like sharing what they know
  • I can ask questions about anything I’m experiencing or observing
  • Information has never been more accessible

 

A fantastic story to illustrate this secret comes from Bob Buford, a student of Peter Drucker. In a recent Leadership Network blog post, he shares this story:

Peter Drucker had an exquisite collection of Japanese painting and calligraphy on scrolls, many housed in museums. Peter took three scrolls out every month to display in his home. We used to stand in front of an ancient Japanese painting with Peter advising me in two words that the way to study art is to “Just Look.”

Twenty years ago, I began doing just that by purchasing used art books from Half Price Books and tearing out three pages every day to pin up on cork board in my walk-in closet where I dress each morning. You can do the same. Just find a used book store (The Strand in NYC) and start pinning up a few reproductions every day or so. Or you can buy a terrific and inexpensive book, titled A Year in Art, which has the great paintings with succinct commentaries. Tear ‘em out and “just look.” It is like a trip to The Met with no excess baggage fees.

I love this story because Bob, although an accomplished man, continuously delights in feeding his mind and growing his perspective.

I ran into this quote yesterday at Next Level Leadership: “When a leader surrenders their willingness to learn, they also surrender their right to lead.”

Stoke your willingness to learn today. It’s free. It’s your choice.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

VRcurator — 12/12/12 7:04 am

Thanks for the great comment, Jim!

jim mcfarland — 12/11/12 10:53 pm

With Elders, I always suggest including these three questions in elders meetings: 1. What have you loved? 2. Who or How have you led? 3. What have you learned? When Elders lose focus of any of these three questions, they find their perspective altered and focus diffused.

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

Clarity Process

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