The Future is Always Now

Leaders create their own future.

That’s not an original thought, I just can’t recall who first said it.

I’m learning that families create their own future, too. One slice of that took place yesterday when my wife and I took our oldest son, his partner, their three-year old son, and my 18-year old son to Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville for an afternoon’s fun – and learning. We thought that a ratio of five adults to one three-year old would be about right.

DPK is an interactive museum designed specifically for younger children. My grandson was won over the minute he walked in the door and saw a real fire truck just waiting for him to climb on board. From there it was a trip through the drive-through at the bank, the grocery store, a farm (tractor included), a rock-climbing wall, restaurant, brick factory, race car, auto shop, and on and on…

Two hours later but still going strong, he reluctantly left with Nina and GrandBob (with the promise we could come back). After our meal, it was back to full speed again, running and playing in our yard, then running down to the end of our cul-de-sac, racing his dad and kicking a ball. He got to meet a few neighbors, and a dog named Sam.

Back inside for cupcakes and ice cream (celebrating his dad’s 30th birthday) then he was ready to go again. By that time the long day was winding down, and they had a two-hour drive back home.

Reflecting on the day’s events, I thought about Jack, his mom and dad, his uncle, and at my wife and me. We weren’t looking at the future…

…the future is now.

The same thing is true in ChurchWorld. We aren’t preparing future leaders – they are among us now – and they are all ages: 18 years, 30 years, and yes, even three-year olds. My family outing at DPK was a perfect illustration of the tremendous opportunity we have at this moment for the church.

James Emery White, pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church, has a great post here. It speaks of the disconnect between 30 somethings in the church and their parents. That’s me, and that makes it personal.

The title of this blog – 27gen – comes from the 27 years separating the four generations of Adams males: my father, me, my son, and his son. That’s the lens through which I am constantly viewing the world, and one that I hope you enjoy dropping in on.

Today’s assignment: Take a look around you right now. Who is younger than you, and what can you learn from them? Who is older than you, and what can you learn from them? Now flip it: what can you do to help someone younger, and older, learn from you today?

The future is NOW!

(From a prior post on Mentoring while I’m on vacation)


Are You Smarter Than a Nine-Month Old?

I think I have met my match when it comes to a carnivorous learning – my nine-month old granddaughter. Pound for pound, I’m pretty sure her hunger for learning outpaces mine.

Carnivorous and nine-month-old don’t usually go in the same sentence, much less the same page. A little background…

“Carnivorous learning” is one of the values of Auxano, the first “clarity first” consulting group for ministry leaders. I’m a part of the team of navigators who journey with churches to help them discover their “Church Unique.” I’m proud of the label, and do all I can to earn it! In a recent post, Auxano founder Will Mancini wrote about “The Greatest Secret for Continuous Learning.”

“Learning is a free, daily opportunity to those who seize it.”

Enter my granddaughter.

At nine months old, she seizes everything – literally – and explores it with all her senses to see what she can learn. John Medina, writing in “Brain Rules,” states that:

Hypothesis testing is the way all babies gather information. They use a series of increasingly self-corrected ideas to figure out how the world works. They actively test their environment, much as a scientist would: Make a sensory observation, form a hypothesis about what is going on, design an experiment capable of testing the hypothesis, and then draw conclusions from the findings.

Babies may not have a whole lot of understanding about their world, but they know a whole lot about how to get it.

It’s a pity adults don’t.

What are you learning today – right now?

Are you learning as much as a nine-month-old?