I just read a post from Greg Baird who over the years I have come to respect, and as you read his bio you will uncover quickly why. In this post of his he ask the same question that John Maxwell had asked him years ago, “He started asking about how I and my ministry were growing. What was I doing to initiate growth in various areas?”
Here are the 3 basic areas that Greg had made a decision to grow in, and I completely agree and had made the same choice myself years ago to make sure I live intentionally in these 3 areas.
Read because leaders are readers. I have been on a fast track with my reading once I truly understood and saw the results from my reading. I enjoy reading numerous blogs through a RSS reader (I personally use Google Reader) plus a couple books a week. I have often been asked how do I read so much? How do I find the time? I have the same 24 hours a day as everyone else but I find that it comes down to priority. As I have said, I decided to make reading a priority for my personal growth. I carve out time early in the morning before others get up. I find the time and schedule the time with myself because with me if it doesn’t go on the calendar it never gets done. So it gets scheduled after my time with God and reading His word. I also have decided that there are really only a few topics that I enjoy reading about, and they are outside of my Bible:
* Leadership ( like John Maxwell, Peter Drucker, Warren Buffett, Jack Welch, John Wooden, Donald Trump and so many more.
* Children’s ministry. Anything that comes from Kidology, Karl Bastian, K Magazine, Children’s ministry magazine, CM Pro, Jim Wideman, Reggie Joiner, and again numerous other authors
* Businesses and Ministries that are growing and setting the standard like Starbucks, Disney, Sheffield Family Life Center
* Marketing and netwroking with books from people like: Seth Godin, Keith Ferrazzi
Attend Conferences. I am like most out there I am sure, I try to map out 2-3 to attend. As I have been a children’s pastor for 18+ years I have probably heard it all and watched it get repacked in several ways, but the networking you can do is irreplaceable.
Lastly there is the Connecting. This again has been mentioned above but due to it’s importance I wanted to keep it as a separate item as well. I have divided my week into everyday I use it for one or two of the roles I play in my life. I have given Tuesday afternoon and Thursday to networking. I make lunch appointments, breakfast appointments, I travel to area churches to connect or reconnect with other children’s pastors, community leaders and all for the purpose of networking.
I do not pretend to believe any of the above is an exhaustive list but only want it to serve as an example of my growth plan. What is yours? What are the elements you have in yours?