i was shocked recently to find out that only 25% of christian leaders finish well. (see bobby clinton's article on finishing well.) only one in four! of course everyone can name some of the obvious reasons....abuse of power, inappropriate sexual relationships, improper use of money, etc.
but how about this one...plateauing. running on old steam, failing to learn new things, staying in the same place too long - these are all symptoms of plateauing, and it's one of six reasons leaders fail to end well.
a key to avoiding the leadership plateau is reading to learn. i remember a camp director i worked under used to aways say, "readers are leaders." i thought he was being witty, but corny. now i see he is right.
now what if you don't like to read? lots of people don't now. we're used to fast-paced video, split second information gathering, and being connected to our ipods all day. i have a solution that just might fit....listening to talks/lectures/sermons at a fast-paced tempo on an mp3 player.
i found that this company (i should see if i can get a cut of any referrals :) sells mp3 players that have a feature called "tempo." not play speed, where your sermon or audio book speaker sounds like chipmunk, but tempo....increasing the speed without affecting pitch. pretty cool, eh? i've been using one for a year now and i love it. i can listen to a message and cut off 1/3 of the original time. (maybe i like it because i talk fast and i'm just making the world like me ;)
what should you listen to? well, that's totally up to you. you could listen to barack obama's speech on race. (i haven't listened to it yet.) you could listen to mark driscoll if you don't mind a little abrasiveness or rob bell if you don't mind a little nebulousness. (that's a real word!) NT Wright has some good lectures online. or if you like john piper, some of his stuff is here. (you like how i'm listing the spectrum? :) my personal favorite is listening to dead guys like A.W. Tozer or C.H. Spurgeon. at least you can guarantee that they ended well and have something good to say. my favorite talks of all time are on my blog.
who else do you like to listen to?
so now i've given you one more reason you can use that drive time or time spent on an exercise bike to keep away from from that scary plateau.