Lifelong Learning

An excerpt from #ThoughtsFromTerry email dispatch. Subscribe and get weekly thoughts in your Inbox.


The past month or so I have been thinking about an upcoming Leader Essentials session I have the privilege to speak at. Leader Essentials is a dedicated training event for new leaders at Life.Church geared toward training and equipping leaders within our culture. I like to use this time to highlight the DNA of digerati leadership, but also highlight what I am learning and leading through personally. While preparing for the talk, I found myself drawn towards my learning through failing and how critically important mindsets are.

In thinking through those mindsets and mental models, it became abundantly clear that death often produces life. I know that is extreme, but stick with me. I was continually seeing the theme around being willing to leave the old way of thinking or doing, which is death, to step into the new, which is life. Why was this concept hitting me again and again? I am not sure. But this is what I do know — we learn on a need to know basis. A great mentor of mine tells me this all the time. This illustrates why new learnings jump out, or off the page, and we think we have never seen them before. The truth is we have seen it before. We did read it last week, last year, or a decade ago. But this time, in this season it jumped out because we needed to learn it.

Our mindsets and mental models are powerful. They drive just about everything we do or don’t do. I know that in my life when something “new” happened, the old had to die. At age 21 when I gave my life to Christ, it was leaving the old way of thinking for the new. As the journey with Christ continued over the years, the process continued. Many mindsets and mental models from my past were continually challenged, and the old had to die to produce a new way of life. I believe this process is never ending while we are on Earth. Our growth must continue, our wisdom needs to broaden, and our mindsets advance. Every time I spend time with some of my “older” wiser friends in their 60s/70s I am reminded I still have a ways to go.

Life is an active and evolving process that produces learnings, experiences, and all sorts of feelings and emotions that follow. It’s my desire, my hope, and most importantly my prayer, that my journey with Christ is never static. I pray that I never wake up thinking I have arrived. How about you? Are you a lifelong learner? What jumps to mind around this topic? Anything in your life that needs to die in order to bring new?

Jesus said in Mark 8:35, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”
Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Paul said in Titus 3:5, “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

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