(image taken from ajc.com)
You can read an explanation of this series here.
2. Cross Train
We all know that if we want to continue growing, we need to continue learning. There are an abundant number of ways to learn: reading, conferences, schooling, mentoring, workshops, blogs, magazine, etc. The list can go on.
Learning, though, does not mean you will stay dynamic. There are plenty of learned people that haven’t changed in eons. You know these people. They are those who lament about the “good ol’ days” and wish that things would just go back to the way they were when it was easier to do ministry. They are the people who take a look at the landscape around them and blame the culture for the ineffectiveness of ministry.
If we are going to make any headway in children’s ministry, we need to do more than just learn more about children’s ministry and leadership. We need to broaden what we learn and where we learn it. One of the best things I learned in university was that all truth is God’s truth. That means that we can find, search and learn truth in all areas of life. We need to cross-train.
When athletes cross-train, they train their bodies through a number of different disciplines. When I was a swimmer in high school and university, we didn’t just practice in the pool. We lifted weights. We ran. We did more than just swim. The reason for doing that was to condition our entire bodies. As we strengthened other muscle groups, we allowed for those used in swimming to be able to grow stronger as well.
The same can be applied in children’s ministry. As we look outside of children’s ministry materials to learn, we develop our ability to more holistically grow in our capacity to lead, learn, and adapt. We see more than just what is immediately in front of us.
So what does that look like? For me, that means reading from a variety of disciplines as well as reading both fiction and non-fiction. I read blogs that range from theology to technology to sociology to parenting to humor to current events. I’m even learning a bit about linguistics from my wife… 🙂 I’m no expert, but I would say that if you are spending more than half of your learning on one topic, then you need to branch out.
OK, so what are your experiences with cross-training in learning? Do you find it advantageous? What are some of the areas that you do your learning in?
You can check out other parts to this series:
#1. Creative Space
#3. Question Everything
#4. Get Involved in Your Community
#6. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Grape Juice!
#7. It’s Not About You
#8. The Holy Spirit is Your Friend