You must be intentional about discipleship.
Both in offering discipleship and in receiving it. If you want to grow, if you want to continue growing in what you do, in who you are becoming, there is nothing better than apprenticeship. Just do it. Just disciple - i.e. offer, give, share, share your story, provide resources, to any who are willing to listen. Of course it goes without saying, you obviously should first work on earning the right to speak into someone's life. (see John Maxwell's leadership stages)
But to become a great leader you must continually work on being a great apprentice. We are apprentices of Jesus and Jesus uses his church to disciple us via servant-leaders. If you know of someone you want to learn from do the simple and yet thoughtful work of investing in the relationship God has provided you.
“There is so much emphasis on the capacity to perform that many leaders function in isolation, removing themselves from the greatest asset that will in fact enhance their character - - i.e., others! . . . We believe that character may be tested in isolation but it is developed in relationships.” - Robert Clinton / The Making of a Leader
Here are some ways you can nurture a growing relationship with someone you are discipling or being discipled by;
a. Communicate Clearly and Consistently
This doesn't mean constantly, for most great leaders are simply too busy to answer every call, they are busy for a reason.
b. Ask Questions and be Ready to Learn; i.e. take good notes.
c. Plan in Advance the Meeting Dates, Times, and Locations.
Time is the most valuable thing to great leaders, give them ample amount of time to plan ahead and pencil you in. Be respectful of their time.
d. Never Show up Empty Handed
Perhaps this is the "Korean" culture embedded in me by my parents but I rarely ever meet an elder, a leader empty handed. I offer to buy lunch, I offer to pay, I try to bring meaningful gifts to connect them to the fruit of their investment via their investment in me; i.e. stories from the field, gifts from the design team, church shirts, etc. You get the point.
e. Study before Meeting.
Don't have the mentor explain everything to you. Study in advance so that you general know what the heck is being talked about. Therefore, they can simply give you their points, relevant resources to steer you towards, and experienced advice.
Remember, if you are leader, your investment in yourself,
who you are becoming,
is just as important
if not more important than
what you are producing.
Some Things We Talked About this Time Around:
- Church Finance and Facilities.
- Shepherd vs Rancher philosophy of leadership (see Peter Wagner)
- What happens after the 200 mark of the church's attendance.
- Mistakes within ministry and understanding how to move forward with Grace.
- Ministry and tiredness, Sabbath living, and practicing rest.
- Personal stuff (If you want to know this, you need to bring me some Donuts, it's Donut Day here in America. Yes, we have a Donut Day, yes we have problems, but at least they're tasty problems) I'm only joking. ;)
Next time, we are going to tackle "funeral service" and how to minister to the dying and the pastor's role in the closure of life.
I also received some homework today. I haven't received homework in so long. This will be interesting. Pastors need assignments too.
Stay humble. Stay hungry.
The Adventure Continues,