(Find the previous posts here and here.) Far too many people shut down long before they die. Long ago they quit growing, stretching, and learning. In many instances, they have lost the joy in their lives.
Your life doesn’t have to be like this.
Consider these seven suggestions.
After all, if you are serious about wanting to grow, develop, there are many resources.
1. Consider listening via podcast to a class from a seminary or college. Did you know that you listen to the lectures of scholars from around the world? (Go to iTunes. Download it if you don’t already have it. Look for the iTunes Store. Once you are in the store, look on the dark gray menu bar. See iTunesU.)
2. Ask a few respected Christian leaders for the names of significant book they have read or are reading. Ask for the names of books that have impacted their thinking. Look for people who have continued to grow and learn.
3. Ask a Christian leader out for lunch or coffee (your treat of course). Tell this person in advance that you would enjoy a conversation about how he/she has continued to grow and learn. I have done this on numerous occasions and have found most people to be very willing to share their wisdom.
4. Visit with a professor at your former seminary or college. Ask for suggestions on keeping up in that professor’s particular field. Also, many professors are very willing to share their bibliographies for the various courses they teach.
5. Focus on one particular area of interest and then find out everything you can about that area. Who are some of the leading thinkers in this area? What are the seminal books on this subject. What are the key websites or blogs that may pertain to this particular area?
6. Skim book reviews. It is not necessary to read every book or finish every book. Sometimes, it is helpful to just be aware of what is being discussed.
7. Start a discussion group. I have done this on a number of occasions. Perhaps you are preaching a particular text or doing a series on a certain subject. Ask a small group of people to come together to discuss the subject. Tell them that you are trying to learn more about this subject and you would appreciate their input. You might send them several questions in advance. This process can be very stimulating.
What other practices not mentioned above have you found helpful?