I work with and talk with a ton of churches. The ones that struggle the most are the ones most isolated and living on an island, not paying attention to what’s going on around them. They have very few relationships with pastors and churches within or outside of their community. Churches that are growing on the other hand always begin conversations by telling me who they know, who, they’re learning from, and what they are learning. Learning churches are growing churches! Is your church a learning church? Learning churches are growing churches. That’s just the bottom line.
Characteristics of Learning Churches:
Learning Churches Don’t Try To Recreate The Wheel.
When a learning church experiences a tension or is trying to solve a problem, they don’t immediately set out to solve it or resolve it on their own. Instead, they pause long enough to ask: “How have some other churches addressed this tension?” They assume that they are not the only church experiencing this tension and learn from churches who have addressed the same tensions successfully. In doing so, they skip over years of wandering in the wilderness.
Learning Churches Don’t Compare or Criticize.
Learning churches aren’t critical of every church that’s not doing ministry like they are doing it. They don’t look for what’s wrong with every other church. They look for what they can learn from them whether they ever want to copy them or not. We don’t have to copy other churches to learn from them! They don’t care whether another church is larger or smaller. They believe they can learn something from anyone!
Learning Churches Rip Things Off And Make Them Better.
Learning churches are not afraid to copy something from another church, but it doesn’t stop there. Learning churches rip off the best practices they learn from other ministries...and make then go home and make them better!
Learning Churches Look to Churches That Are Ahead But Not Too Far Ahead.
Learning churches don’t just attend the big church conferences. True learning churches realize they can’t easily implement things from a church ten times their size and forty years older. Instead, they seek out churches just ahead of them and shove their way into relationships with them. They learn from churches that are ahead but not too far ahead.
Learning Churches Are Never Content With Saying “Look At Us.”
Learning leaders are never content with what they have already learned. They are always hungry to learn more. Learning Churches are like sponges.They absorb everything they can from everyone they can. They are constantly sharpening the axe and sharpening their skills. They hold their leaders accountable to being learning leaders. Learning churches realize that just when they stop learning long enough to say “Look at us,” time will have passed them by. For that reason, learning churches never stop learning...and therefore never stop growing!