I’m probably preaching to the proverbial choir. If you’re reading this, it probably doesn’t apply to you… or maybe it does.

One of the biggest mistakes ministry leaders often make is to not take the time to learn from others. Before your mind goes there, I’m not entirely thinking what you think I’m thinking. I’m not necessarily talking about the well read and well visited blogs and books written by the top ministry leaders in Christendom… although you should learn from them as well.

I’m talking about the church down the street and the church you’ve never heard from in Montana. They’re doing something you haven’t thought of already and if you’d take a few moments of your day for a conversation, it could better you ministry.

Hey, you don’t have to tell me. We’re all busy. I’m so busy, I’ll never get everything done in the week that I need to get done this week. If I add a non-essential phone call, a less-than-critical lunch or God forbid – a day trip for a visit… well, how will I ever get all my work done. This is the very reasonable line of thinking that every busy ministry leader faces. However, I’m a big believer in the line that “Leaders are Learners” and that means budgeting a little bit of time to learn not just from books, but from others. Yes, that means you might miss a deadline or not get something else done, but the value of learning something new that could changed what you do is to critical to putt off.

This last week I gave about 5 hours to learning from others and it was huge. I spent 4 hours with a new friend on staff at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. I’ve followed the happenings of Elevation for years, it was very cool to peak behind the curtains and learn how things work. I’ll share more later… really good stuff. I got some answers to questions I’ve been asking for a long time as well as answers to questions I wasn’t asking… which was a huge blessing. On Sunday I spent an hour with a portable church 15 minutes North of Gateway. They run a quarter of the people we have at Gateway, but when it comes to volunteer ratios, volunteer excellence and other things, they’re kicking our butt. I walked away with several huge ideas that are simmering in this head of mine. Honestly, it was an incredible 5 hour investment into me and the ministry I lead.

Don’t make the mistake that too many others make year after year… learn from someone else.