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Leadership Development Contract Part 1

In this session we’re going to be taking a look at Leadership Development Contracts.

So far we’ve taken a look at the Leadership Profile that contains the common leadership marks or competencies normally shared by spiritually mature, effective church leaders.

We’ve also learned about the Leader Assessment component in the Leadership Development Model. Here we learned how not only to do a self-assessment, based on the competencies in the Leader Profile, but also gather the assessments of others so that we can have a more objective and realistic understanding of very specific ways we can develop as a church leader. We referred to this as the 360 Assessment.

Now we come to the third component in the Leadership Development Model called Learning Methods.

Here we are confronted with a very common and very serious problem.

Once a leader understands all the basic Leadership Profile competencies that are needed to be a spiritually mature, effective church leader–and the leader has been effectively assessed in light of that model showing specific competencies that need to be developed, the question then arises:

“How do leaders then go from where they are to where they need to be regarding character, ministry, and knowledge competencies?”

One of the most effective, proven ways to help leaders develop the competencies they most need to develop is through what is called a “Personal Learning Contract.”

What is a Personal Learning Contract?

A personal learning contract is a self-designed plan to help a leader develop competencies necessary to be a mature, effective leader.

It’s been called a self-designed vehicle to move you from where you are now to where you want to be. It’s a guide to help you monitor and direct your learning.

A personal learning contract identifies the answers to Five Key Questions:

1. WHO you are going to learn with and be accountable to? (Mentor/Coach)

2. WHAT competencies are you going to develop? (Character, Ministry, Knowledge Goals) 3. HOW you are going to learn it? (Resources and Adult Learning Method Objectives)

4. WHEN you are going to learn it? (Clearly Defined Timeline with Deadline)

5. HOW you will know that you learned it? (Collected Credible Evaluated Evidence)

And a final question, WHAT will you focus on next? (Evaluation and Lifelong Learning)

There are three primary benefits to using personal learning contracts. The first one is:

1. Leaders Learn

When leaders use learning contracts they learn material more deeply and permanently. One reason why is because they learn it through resources and methods of their own choosing – instead of merely listening to it being taught in a classroom.

As you’ve heard me say in this course before, “The purpose of teaching is to make learning possible.” It is a false premise to believe that if teaching is taking place then learning must be taking place. Educational studies have shown that the tradition lecture model, where students are primarily passive scribes taking notes, is just not an effective way to learn.

But when the same criteria in educational studies is applied to students using personal learning contracts, the findings are normally significantly different. Students normally learn. Why? Because proven Adult Learning Principles and Methods are required in learning contracts.

And one of the primary reasons they truly learn is because they are developing in a specific area where they are aware they need to be developed and they are motivated to be developed in that area.

You’ve also heard me say several times in education, “One size does not fit all.” By this I mean that standardized class curriculum is usually just not very effective because all learners are not starting at the same place.

Every learner has unique strengths and weaknesses. And one of the foundational leadership development principles we saw earlier in this course described the need for the leader to supplement standardized formal instruction with more individualized non-formal instruction.

The use of personal learning contracts, more so than any other type of instructional method, create the conditions for individualized learning.

A second benefit to using personal learning contracts is that…

2. Leaders Learn How to Learn

This way of learning shifts the primary responsibility for learning from the teacher to the student. Learning contracts lead students to become more self-directing and more responsible for their own learning.

And in doing this it’s often like a conversion experience. Students stop being passive and always complaining about their lack of development as leaders, blame shifting. They begin to take personal responsibility for their own development as a leader in a renewed way. It’s like an awakening.

Church leaders often need to have this kind of conversion experience when they stop blaming their school or church or ministry organization for their lack of development as a leader. And they start recognizing that the only reason they’re not truly learning is because they are failing to lead themselves well.

A third benefit to using personal learning contracts is that…

3. Leaders Learn How to Learn for the Rest of Their Lives

As time passes, the unique educational needs of pastors and churches change inevitably.

But many church leaders, especially in the developing world, have no access to education today. And the church leaders who do have access and who can afford education, can usually only afford a brief time of education during the beginning of their ministries.

There is no other vocation or profession, except for pastoral ministry, has such an unparalleled lack of quality control and lifelong, continuing education for its practitioners.

This is why one of the most important things a church leader can learn is how to become a lifelong learner.

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Take This COURSE
On Your Own or Create a New Group

Learn how to create a plan to help you move from where you are now to where you want to be as a more effective church leader.

In this next video, you’ll learn the top 3 benefits of a personal learning contract and the 6 key questions that your plan must answer.

In this course, you’ll be equipped to:

  • Understand the primacy of Christian character in leadership development
  • Demonstrate how leadership development occurs in relationships
  • Explain three effective training methods for developing leaders
  • Implement effective church leadership development models
  • Describe core competencies needed for effective church leadership
  • Demonstrate how to assess character, skills, and knowledge
  • Understand the principles and methods needed for effective training
  • Discover effective, practical learning principles and methods
  • Understand the benefits of a Personal Learning Contract
  • Design and implement a practical leadership development plan in your church

This brief video (9:57) will help you learn how to develop and execute personal learning contracts as a lifelong learner and mentor of learners.

Take this course now.

We help underserved church leaders develop churches that transform lives and communities

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Leadership Learning Methods Part 2

There are ten adult learning principles and methods that are grounded in neuroscience and andragogy I would like to survey for you in this session.

Let’s begin with the concept of motivation.

1. Motivation: Adults must want to learn
Studies have proven that adults learn most effectively when they are motivated to acquire a particular type of knowledge or develop a new skill.

2. Relevance: Adults must see connections to learn
The concept here is that adults learn most effectively when they see links between new information that they’re learning and their previous knowledge and experience, especially how the topic they’re learning relates to their life and to their work or ministry.

3. Participation: Adults must interact to learn
The concept here is that adults learn most effectively by an extensive use of interactive exercises that are critical for student engagement and learning, as opposed to and in contrast to traditional passive listening or passive reading.

4. Active Learning in Class: Adults must interact in class to learn
Adults learn most effectively in classes or groups when that time is used for active learning with the instructor and peers. Many studies have demonstrated that standard classroom lecturing is often a very ineffective mode of learning. A more effective classroom learning model is to “flip the classroom” so that students watch or listen to lectures outside of the classroom (as part of their homework) so that classroom time can be used for interactive engagement with the instructor and with peers.

5. Active Learning Outside Class: Adults must interact outside class to learn
Adults learn most effectively outside of classes or groups when that time is used for active learning with learning resources. This is especially true of homework where even brief audios or videos need to be paused periodically for students to answer a question to test whether they are truly understanding the concepts and the ideas. When adults are not actively participating in their learning outside of class it will have the same effect as being a passive learner in a formal classroom just listening to a long lecture.

6. Peer Learning: Adults must have interaction with peers to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they receive input and feedback on the subject they’re learning from both the instructor and their peers. Unlike most traditional education where the instructor is the only source of input and feedback, properly designed peer learning exercises and assessments can have a very significant impact on adult learning. Many studies have proven that students can learn actually more from constructive evaluation and feedback from others students than the instructor.

7. Competency-Based: Adults must have measurable competencies to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they are seeking to develop clearly defined goals, what we call holistic competencies while being held accountable through objective and measurable results. Unlike most traditional education that is primarily teacher/teaching-based, students learn best when their learning is primarily learner/competency-based. This requires clearly defined, measurable outcome-competencies (e.g. a learner profile), a learning process designed to develop those competencies, and learning assessments then to measure the results.

8. Problem-Solving: Adults must solve problems to learn
Adults learn most effectively when focusing on solving relevant, realistic problems as opposed to merely acquiring knowledge sequentially. Unlike most traditional education where the instructor shares solutions to problems and answer to questions, properly designed learning experiences that allow adults to discover solutions to problems and answers to questions is a much more effective learning process.

9. Mastery-Learning: Adults must have immediate feedback to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they receive immediate feedback from testing methods resulting in self-discovery. Unlike most testing methods in traditional education, students need to receive immediate feedback on any concepts that the student does not understand before moving on to be tested on another concept. This allows for ongoing re-study and re-attempts in self-discovery while completing assignments.

10. Hybrid Methods: Adults must have hybrid methods to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they are using integrated learning methods that are actually adapted to their unique context and learning styles. Unlike most traditional education that focuses mostly on formal learning methods, adult students learn best through integrating formal, non-formal, and informal methods according to their needs. Both face-to-face learning and online learning methods are considerably more effective than either method alone.

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Leadership Course!

Help under-served church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.
Pathway Learning