One of the people I’ve heard talk about having a personal growth plan is John Maxwell. I don’t remember where he writes about it — maybe Developing the Leader Within You or The Success Journey — but the idea is that learning isn’t accidental; it has to be intentional!
John Wesley was a huge proponent of personal growth. I remember reading somewhere that he challenged his preachers to read/study five hours per day. That’s pretty intense!
And as I’ve quoted before, Proverbs 19.27 says, “If you stop learning, you will forget what you already know” (CEV).
Recently, I jotted down the things we try to do intentionally for personal growth, including …
- Books, journals, and online resources.
- Leadership Summit DVDs (we recently picked up a few collections from previous years on clearance from Willow Creek).
- Various continuing education opportunities for leadership/ministry development (next up is the How to Reach Unchurched People in Your Community in a few weeks).
- The Provisional Membership process that we’re in is a required part of our growth plan.
- Audit Classes at Asbury Theological Seminary (probably after ordination in 2011).
Personal growth is important for everyone. It’s vital for followers of Jesus, who are “disciples” (a.k.a. students, learners, apprentices). And personal growth is absolutely imperative for leaders, too. I’ve always loved Rick Warren’s statement that “Leaders are learners; the moment you stop learning, you stop leading!”
In the next few days (hopefully), I plan to write a couple posts on (1) Daily Routines (those few things that I believe I must practice every day (or at least most every day), and more immediately, (2) a specific growth plan for the season of Lent, which begins next week on Ash Wednesday.
I realize some of us are more planners than others, but what do you do to make sure that you continue to grow?