Okay, need to post another man of God's blog - just because - he is brilliant. (Lord I pray to become more brilliant today too! AMEN! :D) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
We are a nation of consumers. Usually this is seen as a bad thing. And for good reason. Economic and material consumerism is ultimately about the maximum selfish accumulation of things for the benefit of ourselves.
But there’s another type of consumerism that is indispensable in our development as leaders and is about obtaining maximum output for the benefit of others. It isn’t selfish. In fact, if you want to be a leader who is continually developing and able to impact others, you are going to have to be a person whoconsumes a lot.
Sermons. Books. Blogs. Tweets. Podcasts. Anything and everything that will feed your mind and keep it fresh so that you might actually have something to give to the people under your leadership.
For example, in my own life I’m addicted to the art of preaching. For the last 13 years and counting, I’ve devoured any preaching I can get my hands on. I love it all. Good preaching, bad preaching, country preachers, refined preachers, 3 point alliterated outlines, post-modern narrative ramblings, screamers, forced hushed devotional whisperers, edgy stuff, stuffy stuff… my appetite for sermons is never satisfied.
Why? Because I know that there is always at least another little piece of information that I don’t yet have that I might yet need to become the preacher God made and saved me to be. There is always something new to be learned that I can assimilate into my own style and use to bring my proclamation of the Word of God to a whole new level.
Here is some closing practical advice. First, make a list of the people you admire. The people who are most aligned with your way of thinking. Not only is itpermissible to have heroes, role models, and mentors- it’s mandatory for those who want to get better. But it’s not simply enough to idolize them. You have to consume anything and everything they’ve ever produced. Listen to everything they’ve said. Read everything they’ve written. Take extensive notes and begin to ask what it looks like to integrate their ideas into what you’re doing to increase the quality of your leadership.
But don’t make the mistake of consuming only from the people you already agree with. It isn’t helpful. This isn’t about having your own personal amen corner. Glean from a variety of perspectives. Read books from authors who wouldn’t eat at the same table together. Absorb both of their material. Then make judgment calls about what you want to assimilate and integrate and what you need to throw away.
Let the inspiration and consumption of how others preach, write, think, lead, and walk with God drive you not to imitation, but better preparation and creation of your own message. Consume the maximum amount of material for the maximum amount of output.