I read quite a bit. I have made it a point to continue to read in order to expand my own understanding of scripture, as well as for my day job. Recently, having been invited to participate in a leadership class through my church, I have also become re-engaged in learning about leadership.
I have not always been as intentional as I could be in my studies. At times, I operate under the assumption that I am being productive and focused by simply putting in the time to read, and purchasing many books to read for the year. However, I will acknowledge that I lack structure in this area, and that this is an area I have also earmarked for future improvement.
An assigned reading for the leadership course I attended through my church was Developing the Leaders Around You, by John Maxwell. The subject of personal development plans was addressed throughout the book, and it was noted that not many people actually have one. While the focus of the book was not necessarily on the development of self, John Maxwell provides a reference to a development plan that I thought was worth capturing:
Here is the weekly plan that I recommend at my conferences:
Monday: One hour with God
Tuesday: One hour listening to a leadership tape
Wednesday: Another hour with the same tape (including time filing notes on highlights and reflecting on what has been learned)
Thursday: One hour reading a leadership book
Friday: Another hour with the same book (including time filing notes on highlights and reflecting on what’s been learned)Developing the Leaders around You, by John C. Maxwell, Nelson Business, 2005, p. 113.
Taking John Maxwell up on this great suggestion, I am starting filing notes on what was read in his book, as well as in other books.
My own daily plan currently consists of the following:
- Pray as soon as I awake, prior to getting out of bed
- Daily Bible reading, currently using the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan
- Daily reading, 1-2 chapters from a book prioritized in my book list
- Reflect on scripture and other materials read, and write about anything that God reveals to me
That last point has been the biggest challenge, as I do not consistently set aside time to write. Writing has been difficult for me, but in 2020 I am making it a priority as it provides me a means to both capture content I want to file in my own journal for future reference, and it also helps me to internalize what has been highlighted as important to me by the Holy Spirit.