9 Insights about Adult Learning every Pastor should Know

I’m learning coaching fundamentals through theProfessional Christian Coaching Institute’s13-week intensive tele-class. I’ll soon begin a new ministry helping senior pastors in mid-sized churches lead at their best. (If you are a senior pastor and would like more info about my coaching, leave me a comment here or email me at chucks9886@gmail dot com.)

This course has been invaluable.One of my teachers, Anne Denmark, professionally coaches church leaders and trains speakers. As a highly credentialed and experienced coach she shares her insights on herblog.

Recently she sent our class nine basic principles of adult learning. As I read them, I realized how each could apply to my sermon prep and delivery. Here they are.

9 Insights about Learning

Nine Basic Principles of Adult Learning

    • Recency – what is most recently learned is best remembered.
    • Active Learning – people learn best by “doing” through active involvement and participation. Confucious said, “I hear and I forget.I see and I remember.I do and I understand”
    • Multi-Sensory – taking information in through all five senses increases learning.

    A great devotional journaling app for busy pastors

    spiritual growthI’m a busy pastor. Even though I never can complete my to-do list, I must never let this one to-do slip, my walk with Jesus. Technology supports my spiritual disciplines as  I use my Mac, iPad, and iPhone in tandem. I just purchased a great app that helps me journal more consistently.

    Journaling, a classic spiritual discipline, keeps me spiritually sharp in these ways.

    •  I can record what God is doing in my life.
    • I can cut and past key scriptures from my bible app, Olivetree.
    • I can process my frustrations and get them off my mind.
    • I can look back over the past to see good or bad trends in my life.
    • I am leaving a record of my life should my kids and their kids and their kids’s kids want to read about me when I’m gone.

    The new app I use is DayOne. I’ve used several journaling apps before and this one tops the list for these reasons.

    • It’s available on my Mac, iPad, and iPhone and it syncs via DropBox (or iCloud).
    • Because it’s on all three, I can add to that day’s journal at any time (I’m never without either my iPhone or iPad).
    • It’s simple and intuitive.
    • It provides a calendar so I can see what days I journaled (and the days I skipped).
    • It allows me star an entry that I want to stand out.

    Check out the tool and see if it helps you.

    Also, do you recommend any apps that have helped your walk with Christ?

    ______

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    Why Smart Pastors Fail

    failing, failI just finished reading You’re in Charge–Now What by Thomas Neff and James Citrin. The book targets leaders moving into new positions. Whether or not you find yourself in a new ministry role, read this book. It’s a great read.

    The last chapter is worth the price. The authors give ten traps for new leaders by playing off the book Why Smart Executives Fail by Sydney Finkelstein where those authors list seven destructive behaviors leaders in failing companies show.

    Below, I’ve tweaked those 10 to make them applicable for ministry leaders.

    A pastor can fail if he…

    1. sets expectations too high (by never meeting them) or too low (and thus disappointing high performing leaders in the church)
    2. makes rash decisions or suffers from analysis paralysis
    3. appears to have all the answers
    4. 6 questions that reveal if you only give ADVICE or extract VISION

      Often ministry leaders give advice rather than seek to bring out personal vision in others. These 6 questions help others think about their personal vision. The next time someone asks you for advice, respond with one or two of these questions before dispensing advice.

      1. What’s working for you now?
      2. What’s not?
      3. What really excites you about the situation you now face?
      4. What scares you?