One of our favorite quotes among our Pastoral staff is, â€œLeaders are learnersâ€”when you stop learning you stop leading.â€ These words have become commonplace in our church culture, but theyâ€™ve never been more true. As leaders, we have to be hungry to learn and willing to humble ourselves to someone elseâ€™s wisdom and experience.
So what makes somebody â€œteachableâ€?
Someone Who Asks Curious, Thoughtful Questions
Somebody who is curious and asks lots of good questions is hungry to learn. They are processing the information that has been provided, and now theyâ€™re seeking clarification for an even deeper understanding. They KNOW they need to learn and use the answers to those questions to propel themselves forward. If you want to show someone youâ€™re listening, learning and leading, ask great questions.
Of the two, this one is easy. Obviously some folks are more inquisitive, and better at asking questions, but almost everybody enjoys learning life lessons and having teachable moments that they initiated!
Someone Who Is Humble Enough To Let Others In
It isnâ€™t easy, but a truly teachable person allows others to speak into their life through exhortation, encouragement, correction, and coachingâ€¦even when they arenâ€™t asking for it!
This oneâ€¦is tough. To be open to correction you didnâ€™t know you needed. To be coached in areas you thought you had already mastered. To be pushed in directions you donâ€™t think you want (or need) to go. To learn from people who donâ€™t know as much as you do. For instance, Josh knows almost nothing compared to me (Kurtâ€¦and apparently I didnâ€™t write the â€œprideâ€ article the other day), but I am shocked at how much I learn from him when I open myself up to his wisdom.
Chances are the older, more experienced, more educated and more â€œsuccessfulâ€ you are, the less teachable you are, too. While this is natural, it doesnâ€™t make sense. In the fast-paced, ever-changing world of ministry leaders simply canâ€™t afford to quit learning. What Iâ€™ve discovered about so many of my youth ministry friendsâ€¦and about myselfâ€¦is that while weâ€™re quick to ask questions and learn stuff we WANT to learn, weâ€™re sometimes a little slower to become truly teachable.
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter.Â Subscribe to SYM Today right here.