Personal Patterns pt 4 Axiom #3

Let me finish my comments on the three axioms and then next time will comment about rhythm. In my original post on this I said ….

Axiom # 3
Life long learning is a non negotiable for development and creativity.

I am going to be honest with you, this just happens far to infrequently. Not only does it not happen in the life of the average American (the number of Americans who actually buy non fiction to read is woefully small. The number who actually read more than the first chapter – miniscule) it happens as rarely in ministry.

I am not unrealistic in realizing the average person in ministry should have a balance between the various spheres of life. But never read a theology book? Never consider what is emerging in the world of cultural critique? Never consider a consistent practice of familiarizing themselves with cutting edge leadership and semiotics? This sort of laziness is just a recipe for church malaise; a vibe more common than anyone would like to admit. And it is a prescription for a boring, self absorbed person.

This is the single practice that has kept me fresh over the years. (in the next post I will talk to you about THE most important practice you could daily engage to revolutionize your life) You don’t have to read three books a week, listen to 12 podcasts and surf cultural trend websites daily. But you do need an intentional plan.

What areas will you become an expert in over the next 10 years (take the long view)? Why not commit right now to one full day in a bookstore getting book reading ideas and creative insights? I did this every month without fail over a 15 year time period.  It was enormously helpful. How much time will you commit to taking in new material whatever the format it takes? Input may be the most important determinate in creative flow and we just don’t take time for it.

One of the biggest reasons for input is to release our mental models from becoming to set up, read as in concrete.  Fresh input that jars and disrupts our current way of seeing things is the only way to make sure we don’t become smug and arrogant; certain we already have it all figured out.  Very little in life is “all” figured out.  There is always more to learn about almost everything imaginable.

Life long learning is not only the way to remain at an exciting place but it is the source of creative injection for the primary vocation into which you are living at the moment. Your ability to enact, creatively shift, and think beyond the box to the sphere or pyramid is dependent on your commitment to new idea intrusion. Go for it!!

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4 Responses to “Personal Patterns pt 4 Axiom #3”

  1. […] most recent axiom caught my eye and is one I think we would all do well to consider, especially those in leadership […]

  2. I’m not even sure that it’s laziness.

    All of us as little children are deeply curious. We ask questions. We imagine. The world is a wonder-filled place to explore.

    But somewhere during thousands of days of sitting behind desks and being graded on our performance, that part of us atrophies. And books–rather than being living portals–become dull and lifeless. (Should I even mention the seminary experience?)

    Wouldn’t it be cool if part of the mission of the church became to wake that part of us up that was a casualty of growing up? We can do it on our own. Your post is a great tutorial on that.

    But more is needed.

    The mental “hand slap” to exploration, adventure and curiosity can take years to unlearn. But it is like shackles falling off when you do. And the God-fueled energy flow of living out that part of your true design is unimaginable until you live it.

    I think my favorite part of the post is the encouragement of your last three words. “Go for it!”

  3. hermipowell Says:

    I believe that ministers seeking a flow of creativity look no further than to someone in their church body who God has wired to flow creatively. Some creative members may be hard for an intellectual minister to come alongside of however. Books can be easier to search through for God’s deposits than some people are, but God has brought people together for such a reason as this.

  4. To me, life-long learning has a lot to do with creativity. There is nothing I like more than the exchange of new ideas and the willingness to cooperate towards the same goal. Learning from others (role models, peers and those I lead) keep me on the cutting edge.

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