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
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
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.