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God is seeking people who love Christ, His word and the mission of His church; and who want to share the Gospel with others.
My first exposure to organized leadership was from a group of coaches on a football. My second was as a Boy Scout being led by a former Marine. A major leadership experience was in the US Navy. Later working as a machinist in a shop I saw firsthand manufacturing and business leadership. As a Patrolman and City Detective, I saw leadership at all levels in law enforcement and city government, etc.
As a full-time preacher and elder in the church, I have seen numerous approaches and kinds of leadership—from secular to deeply spiritual. I have worked with an amazing number of leaders on all levels. I have served in academic and educational roles; from organizing major soul winning workshops, to working in publishing and marketing, etc.
I have taught leadership at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as conducted seminars, workshops, and spoke on numerous leadership programs. I have authored 17 books on various aspects of leadership, as well as written numerous articles.
I mention all this as an introduction to the qualities I am listing in this article. They are my personal conclusions after all my years being involved in leadership. Few questions are asked more frequently than, “What are the qualities of a positive leader?” The following qualities I deem as positive and essential. They aren’t given in any strict order or priority, other than #1. I realize that leadership is always situational, thus since no two are the same, we would expect the kinds and qualities of leadership needed will vary. However, I believe many of the ones I list will have a wide range of application to every context of leadership.
Character has to be at the top of the list. Without character—Christ-like character—a leader’s credibility will be lost and so will those who follow.
Knowledge of the Scriptures and how they relate to his leadership assignment.
Skills relative to an assignment are essential for effective and productive leadership.
Fearlessness is developed in obedience to the command Paul taught Timothy: “God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear” (1 Tim. 1:7).
Change creators when it is essential to the mission of the church. The three-folds mission of (1) evangelism, (2) edification, and (3) equipping.
Love is expressed toward, God, brethren, and even one’s enemies. The qualities of 1 Corinthians 13 are his guidelines.
Attitude that is imitating Christ (cf. Phil. 2:4-9); knowing “as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
Ethics are without question in every relationship and transaction in and out of the church.
Communication skills exist and are continually be honed to the finest point possible.
Self-discipline is a major factor and practice that keeps the spiritual leader in step with God’s word and demands.
Prayer is a perpetual practice in his daily life (cf. 1 Thess. 5:17), and something he shares with others.
Responsibilities are taken very seriously. He sees his mission as an “ambassador for Christ.” He must be faithful in every assignment and work.
Balance is a priority in his life. He is a team player. He takes time off to rest and recuperates. He knows stress is a killer.
Inspires and encourages others in the good and bad times.
Solutions are his main objectives in his position of leadership. He knows the end doesn’t come when you identify the problems. The solution is the next step.
Impartiality describes his fairness to others, as he treats everyone with respect and honor.
Flexibility describes his attitude when new ideas are presented or called for by others. His mind is not closed.
Diligence describes his work ethic. He believes Solomon’s words: “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.”
Desire characterizes his role as a leader. He desires to glorify God (Eph. 3:21), and help his followers get to heaven.
Faith describes his daily walk with the Lord. He knows he can’t please God with faith (Heb. 11:6; Rev. 2:10).
How will you intentionally apply this lesson to your leadership?
Fighting leaders! Really? Isn’t fighting out of harmony with humility, the Golden Rule, and turn the other cheek taught by Jesus? Yes, if physical abuse and harm are being emphasized. If we are speaking about spiritual fighting, no.
The Scriptures use fighting and fight as metaphors to describe the spiritual warfare and battles Christians are perpetually engaged in. A champion fighter in the early church, the apostle Paul, wrote these words to a young preacher named, Timothy. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were called and have confessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate” (1 Timothy 6:12).
In the last months of his life and end of his fighting, the old warrior, Paul, wrote: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8).
It was the apostle Paul who wrote that every Christian is a soldier in the army of Christ, thus a fighter: “You, therefore, must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3, 4).
To the soldiers of Christ in Ephesus the apostle Paul wrote a dress code, weapon requirement, and fight plan for Christians (cf. Ephesians 6:10-20).
Now that we have seen that spiritual fighting is commanded and illustrate in the Bible, I want to share some applications I believe all church leaders need to fight.
As we noted in Paul’s remarks in 1 Timothy 6:12, we must “fight the good fight of faith.” This references the “faith that justifies” (Romans 5:1); the faith we must defend (Jude 3); the faith we must live unto death (Revelation 2:10; the faith we must walk by (2 Corinthians 4:7); and the faith without which we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Leaders must fight mediocrity. Whatever our hands find to do we must do it with all our might (cf. Ecclesiastes 9:10). We live in a world where the tendency is for workers to only do enough to get by and keep the boss off their backs. Christian leaders must constantly strive for the best. Jesus wasn’t a mediocre leader; the Gospel is not a mediocre message, and the church isn’t a mediocre social club. We are a highly skilled army giving our all for the Commander and chief.
Leaders must fight resistance to change. While we must not change the teaching of Scriptures that are rightly interpreted by sound hermeneutical rules, we must not let our commitment to traditions and expediencies be stronger and more binding that a “thus saith the Lord” (Read John 12:48). The methods of a bygone era, not matter how effective they might have been, aren’t working today. I will reluctantly quote it again: “Doing the same old things over and over expecting to get different results each time, is a sign of insanity.”
Leaders must fight the reluctance, and in some cases fear, to add new leaders to the leadership team. Have you noticed two things: (1) all the present leaders are getting older? (2) and one day there will be a need to fill their shoes? When the Titanic is sinking it’s too late to select and train a new captain or deck hands. Start a training and mentoring program when you don’t need new leaders so that when you do they will be ready to step up to the plate.
Leaders need to fight being influenced by all the negativism in the world, as well as that which exists in some congregations. A leader’s attitude is a major factor in his success or failure as a leader. Read Numbers chapter 13 for a classic and sad example of how the influence of 10 spies can halt the work of God and bring “wilderness wanderings” as punishment upon the people. Dare to have the “attitude of Christ” (Philippians 2:4-9). The Book of Acts is called Acts for a reason. Why do you suppose it received this designation?
Leaders need to fight their pride and ego. Some leaders are like store bought cakes relative to their minds already being baked in a mold and ready for serving. Like the defenders of Edom, some leaders think their way is the only right way, but the “the pride of their hearts deceive them” (Obadiah 3). Many are like the leaders who once said sarcastically, “One time I thought I was wrong but it turned out to be a mistake.” Leaders who lead effectively have open minds and readily admit when they are wrong. They love the truth and have no fear of being exposed to it; in fact, they seek it (cf. proverbs 23:23; John 8:32, 36).
Leaders need to fight busyness and burnout. It is encouraging to see leaders work with zeal and commitment. However, here is a truth. Whatever a leader is going to do, or is doing, for the Lord and His church, he must do it in the one body he will always have. Stress has been identified as a major contributor to numerous health issues; even death (Read my book, Preventing Ministry Burnout, amazon.com). Jesus set the example of getting away to rest (cf. Mark 6:30, 32).
Leaders need to fight neglecting their families. How sad to save the whole world and lose your own family. How sad to help other people with their problems but neglect helping you own family members. Because of neglect, many children of church leaders lead the church after turning 18. Some refuse to accept leadership roles because of what they saw growing up at home. A leader’s first mission field is in his own home. Your biggest leadership challenge is within the four walls of the home.
These eight areas leaders need to fight are only the tip of the iceberg Take a moment and think of several more. Which is the major one that you need to fight?
A young graduate swaggered down the steps of the university with his BA degree under his arm, he was now educated and ready to change the world. A voice from heaven said, “Sit down, son, and I will teach you the rest of the alphabet.”
The alarm has been sounding for years relative to the dumbing down of students in the American education system. A nation that once ranked among the highest in education is on a rapid downward spiral toward the bottom.
In a recent set of street interviews of college students, the lack of knowledge and learning was obvious. One student was asked who won the Civil War, he answered, “England.” A woman was asked to define socialism, she replied that was when persons got together for a party.
“There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility (www.psychologytoday.com/basics/deception).
Before we think ignorance is the peculiar territory of young university students, how about in the church? A class of freshmen Bible majors was asked on a test, what is an epistle? Several answered an epistle was an apostle’s wife. It may amaze you to learn that on the same test some said Moses built the ark.
Hosea was also describing the condition of our day when he penned these words of the Lord: “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being a priest for Me; because you have for-gotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hoses 4:6).
The trend in American education seems to be centered more on getting a job than getting a balanced education. This trend has made inroads into the church. Some training of preachers and leaders for serving churches centers more on maintaining the traditions, status quo, and keeping the members happy. Many graduate and never add the rest of the alphabet to their BA. There is much more to learn.
Years ago I saw a cartoon which depicted two older men leaving a church service. One was captioned as saying, “My, how things have changed in the church.” His friend replied, “What do you mean?” “Remember when you used to bring your Bible to church? Now you need to bring a dictionary.”
The growing anti-intellectualism to learning, scholarship, and education is seen in the dumbing down of secular approach-es to teaching and learning. We see this practice as well in some local congregations in the reduced emphasis on a “thus saith the Lord.”
A snapshot of a typical assembly will reveal a well-behaved, somewhat well-dressed group of people auditing what is being taught. Most will be forgotten once they are out the door, rushing to the restaurant or home to catch the game. Few are committed to being intentional learners by being “doers of the word” (James 1:22-26).
Check it out! If a teacher required taking notes, writing a brief paper, and taking a test in order to improve learning in a Bible class, next class period only the chairs would be present. The evidence seems to indicate that many Christians, leaders included, aren’t planning on doing in real learning.
What is learning? Learning: “The art, process, or experience of gaining KNOWLEDGE or SKILL.” It is the SKILL aspect of learning that is lacking in most church efforts to educate members. The Bible calls this “Being a DOER of the word and not just a hearer only” (James 1:22-26). Benjamin Franklin said:
“Leadership and learning,” said John F. Kennedy, “are indispensable to each other.” You didn’t learn to walk by hearing your parents read books of walking, telling you stories about walking, nor by showing you a video on walking. You learned to walk by seeing others walk and by taking action: crawling, standing, falling, wobbling, stepping, walking, and finally running.
One of the greatest pieces of advice every given on the subject of learning was written by King Solomon:
“To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge
And discretion—A wise man will hear
And increase learning, and a man
of understanding will attain wise counsel.”
Every Christian but especially leaders need to memorize these Scriptures, place them on plaques and in frames in order to continually be reminded of how important continual learning and doing God’s word is to their spiritual life and service.
Leadership in the local churches of the 21st century is facing challenges no other generation has faced.
The influence of the world is rushing through a door opened wide by social media and entertainment media. It is not uncommon to see members in an assembly sending texts back and forth during services.
On a national level, as many as 50 to 55 percent of so-called evangelicals believe they can get as much out of a home devotional as attending an organized church service.
The congregations I have observed have from 25 to 30 percent of those in attendance on Sunday morning returning Sunday and Wednesday nights.
The moral and ethical issues that once rarely crept into the church family are now so common that they are acceptable as the new normal. Caesar, feelings, and humanistic rules and practices determine actions, etc.
It is not uncommon to see church leaders throwing up their hands and going with the flow. Why? They don’t know how to deal with the issues. They haven’t, and will not, learn how to handle conflict, etc. The sheep need biblical counseling but the shepherds haven’t learned how. Why?
There is no reason, much less excuse, for 21st-century church leaders not to learn the things they need to know to effectively lead God’s people. Learning can take place through an auto-didactic method or through an organized institution method. The dumbing down of church leaders needs to stop.
What are you going to intentionally do to learn a new skill that will help you be a more effective leader? What study have you been procrastinating relative to starting? Only YOU can learn for YOU.
Since God created no two of us alike, it is obvious then there will be differences in how leaders lead. Since no two leaders come from the same background, it should be obvious there will be differences in leadership style.
Since every leader brings his own experiences to church leadership, it is obvious there will be differences in how to approach ideas. In my years of working with leaders in all kinds of situations and context, I have noted there are at least 12 characteristics of leaders.
Visionary leaders: These leaders motivate others by painting a picture of what “could be.” What is your one burning vision for the church? What are you doing to achieve it?
Relational leaders: These leaders motivate others through a personal connection. How are you personally connected to followers? Do they know it?
Innovative leaders: These leaders find new ways of accomplishing “old” objectives. What are some of the new innovation you are presently working to achieve?
Administrative leaders: These leaders move people forward by organizing groups and teams with clear boundaries, expectations, and accountability. How effective is your organization structure?<?p>
Faith-walking leaders: These leaders exemplify what it means to “walk by faith and not by sight” in their daily lives and obedience to God’s word. What proof do you have that you are walking by faith?
Loving leaders: These leaders are very gentle and approachable in dealing with people and their hurts. They have the gift of “mercy” and compassion. Do other think of you as a loving leader? How do you know?
Bold leaders: These leaders have the “we ought to obey God rather than man” attitude. They dare to “speak the truth in love.” What are some bold things you are presently doing for the Gospel and the church?
Communicating leaders: These are leaders who have charisma, rhetoric and speaking and teaching skills. They are good listeners and enjoy communicating on all levels with followers. How would you rate your communication skills?
Pragmatic leaders: These are leaders who aren’t interested in theory, speculating, and guessing. They are busy looking for effective and commonsense solutions to problems. Will it work? Is a favorite question. How do you qualify as a pragmatic leader?
Reactive leaders: These are more like managers who maintain status quo and keeping things in check. They tend to be more reactive than proactive. Some refer to this as a “knee-jerk” form of leadership. Would anyone describe you as a reactive leader?
Blind leaders: While we usually have a negative reaction when we hear the phrase “blind leader” because of Jesus’ warning to “let they alone” (Matthew 15:14); there are some leaders who fail to see an obvious point, need, or consequence. Do you tend to have some “blind spots?”
Fearful leaders: God has created us with a natural ability to respond to physical threats but “He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7). Fearful leaders worry about what others may think, failure, or being embarrassed. Would anyone describe you as a fearful leader?
Most leaders will have some of all these 10 leadership qualities, but each will be dominant in one or more quality. Also, skills can be developed in each area.
Take a few minutes and reflect intentionally on each of the 10 leadership traits and identify which is your dominant one.
Every person or committee given the job of selecting potential leaders comes to the task with an agenda; a specific set of beliefs about leadership. There is usually a list of qualifications and a clear job description, plus other essential leadership qualities. Leadership is too serious to be left to chance.
I have seen job descriptions for selecting preachers that neither Jesus, Paul nor Timothy could qualify as candidates; neither could prophets like Jeremiah, Amos or Jonah measure up the standards dreamed up by persons or committees given the job of selecting leaders.
The church in many places has fallen into the trap of using standards for selecting leaders that aren't Bible based or in harmony with the tenor of Scripture. And few are trying to follow the example of Christ in selecting and training leaders.
In my opinion Jesus was the greatest leader ever to walk on the earth created by His Father. We have no record of Him having completed a leadership training course; yet, He not only was a great leader but a great trainer of leaders. He and His leadership team changed the course of history for time and eternity.
A casual reading of the Gospels reveals His leadership training techniques. He was a teacher come from God (John 3:1-3), which obviously gave Him an advantage no other leader had ever had, or has had since. Here is a brief listing of some of His methods in selecting and training leaders for a global mission:
He obviously knew He needed a leadership team; even as the Son of God He knew He could not do the work alone.
He knew what a leader needed in order to be effective and trainable for a global mission. He was concerned not so much with proven skills as with potential.
He selected men many would have overlooked as candidates for change agents in a worldwide movement.
Jesus went to where the men were engaged in work. He never approached a lazy or idle man to be on His leadership team (Mark 1:16).
He issued potential followers a personal invitation; He didn't work through an agency or committee recommendation list (Mark 1:17).
Jesus made the followers a clear promise: "I will make you fishers of men" (Mark 1:17). There was no doubt on the part of those who followed: they were going to have to change.
Jesus taught and trained His men chosen for leadership, not in a classroom or out of a manual; He trained them via the "discipling" process. He was continually with them and educated them out of a personal relationship.
Jesus' training method included the following qualities:
He demonstrated His love for them in word and deed.
He treated them as friends.
He obviously trusted them.
He took them into His confidence.
He opened His heart and soul to them.
He accepted their weaknesses.
He let them "rebuke" Him.
He challenged their thinking with parables.
He demonstrated ministry to them by the way He lived and served others.
He taught them numerous vital lessons.
He sent them on trial runs to practice what they had been taught by word and example.
Jesus practiced what He taught others to do.
He taught them how to pray.
He told them about the cross and suffering.
He served them-He washed their feet.
He inspired them with heaven and warned them about hell.
He warned them about false teachers and even called some by name: scribes and Pharisees.
He asked them many questions on a variety of subjects.
He promised them hard times, suffering and even death if they followed Him.
He allowed them to fail-loved them anyway.
He assured them of success in the Father's eyes.
He taught them in order to be great you had to serve one another.
He died for them (and all people).
He gave them a global mission.
He promised to be with them forever.
He sent them out in pairs.
He delegated authority to them.
He taught them about the importance of the church.
He taught them the importance of stewardship and handling money.
He taught them to deny self.
He taught them the urgency of the harvest.
He taught them, as He was doing, to do the Father's will.
What do we learn from this brief review of some of the methods Jesus used to train His leadership team? How can we apply them today? What are some of the challenges presented by Jesus' method of training leaders?
In recent months I have caught myself deciding to buy a book or some other printed item based on the number of pages and the font space and size of the text. If the chapters ramble on, regardless of the content, I find myself skipping paragraphs or speed reading to get the main point or finish the time-consuming task. I’m not proud of this, just being honest about the obvious impact on my study and reading time. It has caused me to buckle down relative to my attention span.
We’ve all been in classes, heard speakers, and read books where the main point if there was one, was lost in the weeds of verbiage. You left confused with more questions than answers. The person who said, “A message doesn’t have to be eternal to be memora-ble” is certainly right in our day of “less is more.” The days of the 45 to 60-minute sermons are becoming memories; even 30-minute sermons have become Sleep-aids. If a listener can leave with one point and one intentional application based on the sermon, an amazing thing has occurred.
We’re living in a time where the attention span is shrinking faster than the dollar or a cheap cotton shirt. The ability to concentrate mentally on a particular activity, especially in events where information is being dispersed is impacting every aspect of communication. In cases diagnosed as extreme by mental health professionals, a new label—ADD—has been coined: Attention Deficit Disorder. It has been estimated that every classroom in America, from elementary to college, contains students with ADD. Some schools have special classes and teachers to deal with attention span issues.
Researchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 persons, studying their brain activity of 112 us-ing electroencephalograms. The results showed the average attention span of a human had decreased from 12 seconds in 2000, or about the time the cell phone revolution began, to eight seconds. In the meanwhile, goldfish are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds. Other studies indicate that the average attention span of an adult or young person who is really interested in a subject is approximately 20 minutes. This calls at-tention to the need for upgraded communication skills: delivery, listening, attention, re-membering, application etc. Thus the questions: As a leader is your attention span longer than a goldfish? How about your listeners?
One of the major reasons Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863, is so memorable is because of its brevity—272 words. Today that’s about one double-spaced, 8 ½ X 11, typed page. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech lasted 17:29 minutes. Churchill’s “We shall Fight on the Beeches” address lasted 12:22 minutes. Steve Job’s Stanford Commence address lasted 14:45). It has been estimated that an average reader can read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in 18 to 20 minutes.
The Ten Commandments are presented in 17 verses in the NKJV (Exodus 20:1-7) and can be read in three to five minutes. Peter’s sermon—the first Gospel sermon—on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts, is 11 verses (Acts 2:29-39). We don’t have a record of the “Many other words” preached (2:40). In his discourse before the Athenian philosophers on Mars Hill, Paul spoke approximately 268 words as recorded in the NKJV. Yes, I remember he once preached until midnight and a hearer fell from a window (Acts 20:1-12).
My computer word count is growing. So I’d better get to the point. This is the intro-duction article to my new blog column for WBI: Power Points for Leaders. Each blog post will be presented with the realization that LESS IS MORE. I will get to the relevant point for leaders. There is amazing power in one word. Paul affirmed this when he used the Greek word rhema in Ephesians 6:17: “And take the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is A WORD of God. There is awesome power in ONE WORD, e.g.: No! Yes! Love! Re-pent! Stop! Obey! Etc. This is why James said, “Let your YES be yes, and your NO be no” (James 5:12). A word of God can defeat Satan.
Remember what Jesus said about the Gentiles: “And when you pray, do no use vain rep-etitions as the Gentiles do. For they think that they WILL BE HEARD for their MANY WORDS” (Matthew 6:7). Yes, less is more! Especially in light of the fact that we all KNOW more than we are practicing. We need continual reminders contained in brief points that, hopefully, will initiate new actions of leadership.
God has created us with brain functions that contribute cognitive processing abilities and resources to focus on stimuli and information. When we are exposed to information our brain exercises mental processes that decode it from our environment which allows us to experience it through our five senses. Our attention span determines how focused or how long we are focused on something we are being exposed to by listening and watching.
Paying attention is the first cognitive function which determines how we process the meaning and application of the subject, etc. Numerous things contribute to attention span and how we process the event. Here is a quick reminder of various types of attention.
Momentary attention. Out of the blue, you hear a noise and turn to see where it came front. Since it ceased quickly, you paid no more attention.
Selective attention. The speaker is rambling on and you lose interest, but when he comes to a joke or bit of interesting data you listen. This is selective attention. This is a popular form of listening to sermons and lectures.
Alternating attention. This is the ability and practice of switching back and forth from one project or subject to another, each requiring a different cognitive skill. Some-times neither task is done very well.
Divided attention. We’ve all heard a teacher say, “Let me have your undivid-ed attention.” This is the cognitive practice of alternating, somewhat successfully between two tasks. This is usually referred to as multi-tasking.
Sustained attention. This is the ability to cognitively focus with a laser beam of attention on one item, subject, etc. without being distracted. It is having “ears that hear and eyes that see.”
Prayerful attention. This is a self-control and spiritual approach to paying attention. It is a recognitions that Satan is continually trying to steal the word out of our hearts (cf. Luke 8:12). It is continually asking God to help you pay attention (cf. 1 Thessaloni-ans 5:17).
Avoidance attention. This is a deliberate cognitive choice not to pay atten-tion to what is being said. It is flipping through the song book or Bible during the message. It is focusing on a person or item in the auditorium.
Deficient attention. When a person has a brain injury, dementia, etc. it is not possible to focus on what is being said, or comprehend what is being presented.
These are the attention challenges a speaker or writer faces which demand staying abreast of the new advances and practices in communication. Remember your listeners and readers may not have the attention span of a goldfish. How about YOU? I’m looking forward to our next power point visit.
As a leader and teacher, you must challenge yourself to pay attention as well as teach others how to pay more productive attention. Here are some quick tips:
Believe you can pay attention. This is more than half the battle.
Know why you need to pay attention: to learn, remember, and use materi-als.
Make a commitment to self, others, and the Lord to paying attention.
Go to the event with an idea of what you will learn, or desire to learn.
Prayer specifically before entering the learning event.
Pray for the teacher before and during the learning event. (Mental prayer—self-talk).
Wear comfortable clothing which is appropriate and in good taste.
Make it a habit of paying positive attention to what is being said.
Get a good night’s sleep is will help prevent tiredness and drowsiness.
Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Proper eating habits contribute to alert-ness.
Get appropriate physical exercise, it contributes to your ability to stay fo-cused.
Remove all distractions: cell phone, computer, notes, iPad, music, etc.
Stay in the present. Don’t daydream, drift into “trance”, mind wanderings, etc.
Repeat what is being said in your mental self-talk.
Choose a good seat or pew close enough to a speaker or teacher to see his eyes.
Know you learning mode: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.
Take notes of major and relevant points, ideas, illustrations, etc.
Ask questions. (1) What is being said? (2) What does it mean? (3) How does it apply? Etc.
If there is a break take the time to quickly review what was presented.
As soon as possible after the class add additional notes from what you remem-ber.
Prepare a quiz or test over material to check what you have learned.
Form or join a study group where the subject is discussed, explored, and ap-plied.
Don’t continually look at the people around you. Focus on the teacher, etc.
If possible choose short lectures—20 minutes would be ideal.
If appropriate and encouraged, ask questions.
Research deeper into the subject: “become an expert.”
If at all possible, and as soon as possible, teach the material.
Make a plan to intentionally practice points relevant to your daily life.
Be excited about the class. Tell others about it, etc.
Ask for a conference with the teacher if you have major questions, etc.
Yes, you can learn by paying attention. Always remember that Satan doesn’t want you to pay attentions. His mission is to steal the word out of your heart (cf. Luke 8:11, 12). As leaders, we must train ourselves and those who follow how to be more attentive.
Watch for additional Power Points for Leaders!