Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the category “#4 REPRODUCE – Developing More Leaders”

The Learning Cycle Applied – 3

Experience is not the best teacher.  It is evaluated experience that makes for truly developmental learning.  For those of us who seek to intentionally develop others, especially leaders, helping them to evaluate their experiences will maximize the developmental opportunity.

David A. Kolb, an American educational theorist, captured a model on how adults learn.  Later Peter Honey and Alan Mumford adapted model for use with a population of middle/senior managers in business.  Here is their Learning Cycle with minor adaptations.

The Adult Learning Cycle

Learning Cycle diagram

4 Phases of the Adult Learning Cycle

  • Experience – The circumstances, people, responsibilities and opportunities that make up the reality of life.
  • Reflection – People need to reflect on their experiences. Questions need to be asked about what happened and why it happened.
  • Conclusion – Having reflected, the learner draws conclusions that form applications for future activity.
  • Application – Applications form the basis of ongoing activities and experience.

Too often busy leaders fail to stop and reflect adequately upon their leadership experiences.  One of a leader developer’s tools for helping others is the ability to cause busy leaders to stop long enough to adequately reflect upon their experiences.  We do this by asking them questions.  Becoming a good questioner is key to helping other adults learn from their experiences.  But many fail to probe another’s experience by failing to ask.  Why?

One of the greatest obstacles to overcome is the desire to talk about yourself and your own experiences.  This self-centeredness flows from an inflated ego and an assumption that my experiences are more important than yours.  We can ramble on and on about ourselves without seeming to take a breath and the listener, though hopefully polite, has really not benefited.  You may feel good about the time, but it is a wasted opportunity for them to reflect upon their own experience because you lacked the self-control to shut up about yourself and listen to them.

Jesus asked hundreds of questions to those around Him, especially The Twelve leaders in training.  Not one time was He asking for information!  It was all for their benefit.

So, are you a ‘teller’ or an ‘asker?’  How you answer can determine how well you develop other leaders.

 

The Learning Cycle Applied – Five Questions for Reflection – 2

Experience is not the best teacher.  It is evaluated experience that makes for truly developmental learning.  For those of us who seek to intentionally develop others, especially leaders, helping them to evaluate their experiences will maximize the developmental opportunity.

David A. Kolb, an American educational theorist, captured a model on how adults learn.  Later Peter Honey and Alan Mumford adapted model for use with a population of middle/senior managers in business.  Here is their Learning Cycle with minor adaptations.

The Adult Learning Cycle

Learning Cycle diagram

4 Phases of the Adult Learning Cycle

  • Experience – The circumstances, people, responsibilities and opportunities that make up the reality of life.
  • Reflection – People need to reflect on their experiences. Questions need to be asked about what happened and why it happened.
  • Conclusion – Having reflected, the learner draws conclusions that form applications for future activity.
  • Application – Applications form the basis of ongoing activities and experience.

Too often busy leaders fail to stop and reflect adequately upon their leadership experiences.  One of a leader developer’s tools for helping others is the ability to cause busy leaders to stop long enough to adequately reflect upon their experiences.  We do this by asking them questions.  Becoming a good questioner is key to helping other adults learn from their experiences.  Here are five of my favorite questions to ask leaders about a recent leadership experience.

  1. What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
  2. What did about your God from this experience?
  3. What did you learn about leadership from this experience?
  4. If you were to repeat this experience, what would you do again and why?
  5. If you were to repeat this experience, what would you not do again and why?

These simple questions will cause a person to stop and think carefully about their life and leadership and help them arrive at good conclusions.  They ‘why’ part of the final two questions is most insightful as it helps us understand their reasoning and values.

So, are you a ‘teller’ or an ‘asker?’  How you answer can determine how well you develop other adults.

The Learning Cycle Applied to Leader Development – 1

Experience is not the best teacher.  It is evaluated experience that makes for truly developmental learning.  For those of us who seek to intentionally develop others, especially leaders, helping them to evaluate their experiences will maximize the developmental opportunity.

David A. Kolb (born 1939) is an American educational theorist whose interests and publications focus on experiential learning, the individual and social change, and career development.  He was first to identify this model of how adults learn.  In the mid 1970’s Peter Honey and Alan Mumford adapted David Kolb’s model for use with a population of middle/senior managers in business. They published their version of the model in The Manual of Learning Styles (1982) and Using Your Learning Styles (1983). Here is their Learning Cycle with minor adaptations.

The Adult Learning Cycle

Learning Cycle diagram

4 Phases of the Adult Learning Cycle

  • Experience – The circumstances, people, responsibilities and opportunities that make up the reality of life.
  • Reflection – People need to reflect on their experiences.  Questions need to be asked about what happened and why it happened.
  • Conclusion – Having reflected, the learner draws conclusions that form applications for future activity.
  • Application – Applications form the basis of ongoing activities and experience.

Too often busy leaders fail to stop and reflect adequately upon their leadership experiences.  They complete one responsibility and ten more await their immediate attention.  They move forward with impressions from past experiences, but not having taken the time to reflect well, these impressions are half-formed thoughts or wrong conclusions that then lead to even poorer applications.

One of a leader developer’s tools for helping others is the ability to help busy leaders to stop long enough to adequately reflect upon their experiences.  We do this by asking them questions.  Becoming a good questioner is key to helping other adults learn from their experiences.

So, are you a ‘teller’ or an ‘asker?’  How you answer can determine how well you develop other adults.

The Look of a Mature Disciplemaking Ministry

A Mature Disciplemaking Ministry  –  Luke 6:13-19

Jesus is approximately one year into His 3+ years of public ministry when we read in Luke 6 that He spent the night in prayer.  While it is not unusual for Jesus to spend time alone in prayer with His Father, this prayer time preceded a significant shift in His work.  From here on He would have a leadership team that would consist of future leaders of the movement He would leave behind.  These 12 would now become His top priority in His ministry and we see that He completes this training of the 12 in John 17:1-6.  It is these leaders that ensure that spiritual generations of future leaders will emerge after He departs.

Jesus’ ministry as described in this one paragraph illustrates the three audiences found in a mature disciplemaking ministry and the three different functions that are addressed in these audiences.

The first audience is the Core leaders  –  Luke 6:13-16.  These are emerging leaders who will be the ‘golden thread’ for spiritual generations to come.  We Train these leaders in vision and skill for spiritual reproduction  –  helping them move to maturity and ability to reproduce their lives in others.

The second audience is the Large crowd of Disciples  –  Luke 6:17.  These are those we lead to Christ and those believers we find who want to pursue spiritual growth.   We Teach these disciples principles about being a Kingdom citizen –   helping them know and apply what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

The third audience was the Great number of people attracted to the movement, but lacking any commitment to it  –  Luke 6:17-19.  We  seek to Touch them in the name of Jesus.  Some we will simply contact – maybe a survey or simply testifying before them; while others we will deeply impact, even winning them to faith in Christ.

Three audiences in a mature disciplemaking ministry – Emerging Leaders, Disciples, and Great numbers of people on the journey.  We seek to Train, Teach, and Touch them for the sake of Christ and for His glory.

The 4 Alls of the Gospel

It was an early morning flight and being a frequent flyer, I had boarded first and was trying to read my Bible while the rest of the plane filled with passengers.  Sitting in the aisle I was secretly hoping that the center and window seat to my right would not be taken, allowing me to spread out some on the short flight from Colorado Springs to Denver. But, the last person to board threw his backpack into the window seat and proceeded to climb over me into the window seat.

Before the plane pushed back from the gate he leaned over and asked, “Hey, what are you reading?”  “I’m reading the book of Isaiah in the Bible,” I replied.  “Oh, that’s one of my favorite books,” he said.  A short conversation ensued where we exchanged some background information and then I asked, “So, how long have you been a believer?”  A quizzical look came over his face when he answered, “I think since I was born.”

I found out that he was headed for a funeral of his 14-month old son who had recently died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and he had been reading a Bible to see if he could discover what happens to a person after they die.  I asked for permission to share with him a short summary of the central theme of the Bible, a summary I called the “4 All’s.”

As we leveled out after takeoff, he retrieved a Bible from his backpack and we turned to Romans.  I explained that there are four things that are common to all people – the 4 All’s.  We then proceeded to look at the verses in his Bible:  Romans 3:23 – All have sinned; Romans 5:12 – All will die; Romans 5:18 – Jesus died for all; and Romans 10:9,13 – All must receive Christ.  I checked for his understanding after each verse.  He nodded approvingly as we read each verse.

After reviewing these verses I asked him, “If you were to die tonight are you certain of seeing your son again in heaven?  He replied that he was not certain at all.  I then asked, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to accept Christ right now as your personal Savior?”  “Why no,” he replied, “but how do I do that?”  I then shared a short prayer with him and somewhere over Colorado at 12,000 feet, Rick trusted Christ as his Savior.

When landing we went over a few short passages on assurance of salvation from 1 John and after de-planing he hugged me and said, “Thanks so much for telling me about Christ!  Please pray for me.  I hope I can tell someone else about Him at this funeral.”

 

 

 

A History of US Revivals

The history of America has been marked by multiple great movements of God’s Spirit. These intense periods of the Spirit’s activity begin with a deep work in the hearts of believers and then moves outward into the hearts and lives of those that don’t know Christ. Christians are “revived” in their walk with God as they confess sin and their renewed heart gives boldness in their witness to the unsaved.

Most church historians would agree that there have been six periods of revival in America. Let’s examine these revivals and draw some parallels for today.

1730-40 Revival The Great Awakening
The first movement of the Spirit of God in America occurred before American independence. The Great Awakening saw many of the colonists touched in a profound way. There were few colleges in the colonies during this time, but those that did exist were profoundly visited.

1805-06 Revival The 2nd Great Awakening
The 2nd Great Awakening began around 1805 and lasted for more than two decades. Though historians differ as to the exact dates, none doubt the profound work of God in the lives of many, especially the college students of the day.

At small Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, three students met in dorm room for prayer and Scripture reading. A student mob gathered outside the door swearing and shouting threats to stop the meeting or suffer the consequences. College president John Blair came to investigate the uproar and after discovering the cause, was vexed in his spirit at the moral state of his student body. The next week the meeting met in the president’s parlor with one-half the student body present. Revival swept the college and the country.

At Yale College “a spiritual revival took place that shook the institution to its center” In a letter from a student to his mother he wrote, “Yale college is a little temple: prayer and praise seem to be the delight of the greater part of the students while those who are still unfeeling are awed into respectful silence.”

1857-58 Revival The Prayer Revival
The third movement of God’s Spirit began with a noon prayer meeting in New York City on Sept. 23, 1857. Six people gathered to pray for the city and their neighborhoods. Within 6 months 10,000 gathered daily for noonday prayer in New York and the revival moved to campuses across America. The YMCA came to America from England, expanded into collegiate ministry in 1858, and was on 180 campuses by 1884.

1905-06 Revival
The fourth visitation of God occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century. “Never in the history of universities have there been so many genuine spiritual awakenings among students.” The seeds in this revival were found in the 1886 Mt. Hermon student conference with D.L. Moody for 250 students. The Princeton Covenant was created by a small group of students at the conference and later signed by thousands, pledging themselves to foreign missions.

1949-50 Revival
Two students from Los Angeles drove 2,300 miles to Minneapolis to pray with Dr. J. Edwin Orr and Dr. Billy Graham for campus revival. Orr preached at Bethel Chapel soon thereafter and, “there was much prayer in the dormitories, followed by intense conviction of sin among the students in chapel and in classroom…Conviction was relieved only by outright confession, restitution, restoration or conversion to God.” In October 1955, the NY Times stated, “more than 1,200 of the nation’s 1,900 colleges and universities now have a ‘religious emphasis week’ of some sort.”

1970’s Jesus Movement
Revival broke out at Asbury College in Kentucky in 1970 and moved to secular campuses. Campus ministers in California who were witnessing to the radical students began to see many converted! Hundreds were converted and baptized in the Pacific Ocean! It is estimated that 250,000 students came to Christ during the next few years.

Are we on the verge of another great movement of the Spirit of God in America?  Let’s pray and ask God for it to begin with us!

More Practical 1-2-1 Discipling Ideas

The following is a list of very practical ideas that will help you be more effective as well as helping you enjoy discipling another individual. You may want to study the passage listed after each idea.

1. Major on being an encourager. As you listen, ask yourself what you can encourage them about.   Hebrews 10:24-25

2. Realize that you are entering into a life-long friendship. Your relationship will be foundational to all you hope to do.    Proverbs 17:17

3. Make sure you are well prepared. Get organized before you spend time with another. Go over the passages and illustrations you hope to share, making sure you are familiar with them. Know the context of the verses you use.   2 Timothy 2:15

4. Set the pace. You can’t take someone farther than you have gone yourself. You can’t build solidly into someone else what is weak or unfamiliar in your own life.  Philippians 4:9

5. Modeling is the key to reproducing your life. More things are caught than taught. Be transparent with those you are helping.  Share your weaknesses and struggles as well as your strengths and victories.   1 Timothy 3:10-11

6. Repeat all things. Make no apologies for going over familiar ground. The basics are basic; keep hitting the basics.    Philippians 3:1

7. Don’t “dump the truck” (i.e. tell them everything you know). Teach them only what they need to know now.   John 16:1-14

8. Take them with you as much as possible. Many lasting impressions are made during discussions in the car or during recreation together.   Mark 3:14

9. Treat them like an adult. Don’t talk down to them. Share with them as a friend.   1 Peter 5:1-3

10. Fit your follow-up plans to the person, not the person to the program. Be flexible.  Meet their needs as well as build into their life.  Don’t spend all your time “putting out fires.”  Think structured building into another’s life, but beware of the “assembly line mentality”.   1 Corinthians 3:9-10

11. Always focus on Christ and relate all you do together to knowing Him or making Him known.  Point them to Jesus.   Hebrews 12:2

12. Communicate an attitude of acceptance and love. Be their fan.  Be their friend.   John 13:34-35

Discipling another individual is a great privilege and challenge. As we invest in the lives of individuals like Steve, we will see them growing to maturity in the Lord and they in turn helping others. Paul referred to himself as a “fellow worker” with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). He also called himself an “expert builder” (1 Corinthians 3:10) of people. May we all seek to be expert people builders, building others up in the faith to the point where they can in turn help others.

Practical 1-2-1 Discipling

I began to work with Steve on a weekly basis, helping to build the basics of the Christian life into his life. Just as a builder comes to the building site with a plan, I too planned beforehand what I desired to share with Steve at each meeting.

These follow up plans consisted of short bible lessons related to the topic I had planned to share. I had previously done a bible study on the topic and summarized this study into a short lesson that I could impart to another individual. Each lesson consisted of a motivation section (a verse, quote, example) to help build anticipation for the topic and then the lesson, a few verses related to the given topic. Whenever possible I tried to share from one central passage rather than multiple verses in different bible books. Examples would be: servanthood – John 13, love – 1 Corinthians 13, faith – Hebrews 11, or the Lordship of Christ – Luke 14:25-35.

Once compiled, these follow up plans are saved for future opportunities to share with others that the Lord may bring into my life. I collect these follow up plans in a follow up notebook. Then when the Lord brings others into my life that He would have me to help, I’m ready with ideas on how to begin.

Just as a builder must start with a foundation, I wanted to lay a solid foundation in Steve’s life. We worked on such foundational topics as assurance of salvation, quiet time, prayer, Scripture memory, meditation, obedience, witnessing, fellowship, and the importance of God’s Word. After being assured that the foundation was solid, I began to help Steve in other areas of his life, seeking to build on top of this solid foundation.

These ‘superstructure’ of the building that I was seeking to construct in Steve’s life, by God’s grace and with His help, consisted of three general areas: doctrine (used in the broadest sense of knowledge of God’s Word), character, and ministry (the ability to personally help others).

When discipling another, be sure to have the mindset of a builder, not a doctor.  The doctor mentality waits for the ‘patient’ to describe their latest symptoms and then dispenses some ‘spiritual medicine.’  This attitude only builds increasing dependence upon the doctor.  But a builder proactively builds into the life of another seeking to build dependence upon Christ instead of themselves.

Be a disciplemaking builder, not a doctor!

Common Bonds in Leadership

A leader who looks with vision into the future sees by faith those who God will give us to influence.  It is essential that these people are unified and aligned around a common purpose or mission. They must also have common bonds around their devotion to Jesus, the hope that the Gospel is truly the power of God to change lives, and that they are personally called to help fulfill the Great Commission.

Remember that unity of purpose and conviction does not mean uniformity. We will be diverse in our applications of these commonalities, but we will be united in our similar convictions. Yes, there are many more things that we will have in common other than these three things, but as we grow and expand into the future that God has for us, these three bonds will have to remain strong.

By “devotion to Christ” I mean our commitment to Jesus above all else in life. This is manifested in a  willingness to put Him first in all areas of our lives–a willingness to sacrifice for Him. It also is seen in a willingness to take risks for Jesus’ sake. As we move into many new ventures of faith, God will ask us to live with some uncertainty and ambiguity for a while. We can do this because we are confident He has led us and our devotion to Him overcomes our feelings of unease.

A second common bond is our “hope in the Gospel.” We believe that the Gospel can and does change lives and that it is the power of God at work in those who believe. With all of the crying needs of this hurting world, we believe that the primary need is spiritual and that need is met through responding to the Good News. Therefore, we must seek to share the Gospel with those that don’t know Him.

As we seek to bring the Gospel, we believe that we will see fruit (in our respective seasons) as we faithfully scatter the spiritual seed. We sow expectantly, trusting that God will bring forth growth as we faithfully labor. But whether we sow or reap, we believe in the hope of the Gospel for those around us.

Our third common bond of unity is the “Great Commission.” We must always remember that the Great Commandment to love God is of higher priority than the Great Commission. But it is our passion for helping to fulfill the Great Commission by multiplying the number of spiritual laborers that also binds us together. We plan, organize, and lead out in our respective spheres with the desire to see people reached, discipled, and equipped to become spiritual laborers. These spiritual laborers will be raised up and then sent to the nations to do more of the same.

The scope of the Great Commission is “all the nations.” Acts 1:8 reminds us that the progression is to begin at our own “Jerusalem.” But our local ministry is always done in the bigger context of seeking to impact the world for Christ!

Acting Locally, Thinking Globally

World vision has always been at the heart of our work. In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, at the peak of the national collegiate ministry renewal (The Jesus Movement), we sent many staff around the world. Dana and I had the privilege of being one of those sent. But, with the decline of the collegiate work in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, our vision necessarily turned inward. We now had to focus on solidifying our sending base and regaining the needed momentum at home in order to be able to once again send to the world. Though never lost, world vision was not emphasized as we sought to rebuild at home.

When we regained momentum at home, we can once again move the topic of “world vision” to the “front page” nationally. God continues to bless us with many new staff and laborers. But this blessing is not an end in itself. We are blessed that we might be a blessing to others. That was the word the Lord gave to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 when He said, “I will bless you…and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.”

God’s heart has been and always will be for the whole world. We see this theme throughout the Scriptures. Take a moment and reflect on the consistency of God’s heart for the world in the following passages: Gen. 12:1-3, Isa. 49:6, Mat. 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, and Rev. 7:9. “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son…”

Isa. 49:6 reminds us that it is too small of a vision to focus only locally. God’s burden is for the entire world and we are to pursue that end also. As we begin to see God multiply our people, making them as numerous as sheep (see Ezekiel 36:37-38), we will want to see many of those He gives us sent to the nations.

One last thought on sending to the world. Let’s remember that there is no “higher good” in crossing an ocean to serve God. Geography does not determine value in God’s service. It is equally valuable in God’s economy to reach, disciple, and equip the ‘nations within’ the U.S. as well as some foreign country. Those that go are no more “committed” or “better” that those who stay.

We all make our strategic contribution for “making disciples in all the nations.” We just do it in different geographical locations around the globe. Some people God gifts and calls for serving cross-culturally. Others are better designed by God to serve within their home culture. All are valuable! All are strategic! All are important!

Beginning at our Jerusalem, may God bless us to reach our Judea’s and Samaria’s and the ends of the earth!

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