The learn it, do it, teach it method has been around for a long time. It is also known as see one, do one, teach one, especially in the field of medicine. In the Boy Scouts it is how everything is done. For example, you first learn how to tie a half hitch, then you actually tie one, and then you teach someone else to do it. It solidifies the knowledge in your head. If you have to teach someone to do it, then you better actually know how.
Recently, I’ve been challenged. And it has been a huge growth opportunity. What I have discovered is there might just be a fourth level to this learning style. Learn it, Do it, Teach it….and Preach It.
How is preaching it different then teaching, you ask? It is different in amazing ways.
Teaching something conveys an idea to help someone do or learn something new. Preaching takes it one step further. Preaching has to deliver the motivation to do the thing you are teaching. Preaching is about telling why the subject is so powerful or great.
A couple of years ago I did this at work with web analytics. I went on what I called my “analytics road show,” telling about why analytics are so powerful to inform strategy. There was teaching involved too, but really, I realized I was preaching. And I was passionate about it. Still am. That’s when this fourth level of learning really struck me.
Last year, I was asked to join a preaching team at church. The team preaches when the pastor is away. And wow how it has changed me! Talking to people and expressing the passion behind the subject and why it is so meaningful to me personally and hopefully to others, too, is really, really powerful. It has taught me so much more about what I’m teaching and why it is important. I found preaching to be a lot like writing, which I’ve always loved to do, just much more public.
My last two sermons have been a bit on the “teaching” end of the spectrum…where I am more comfortable. But, I’ve been warned by my pastor that next time I might be asked to preach a sermon without such a strong teaching element. Scary. But I’m game. I’m always up for a challenge. Especially if I know I’ll learn something from it.
So whatever you are passionate about, go out there and learn it, do it, and teach it! But don’t forget to challenge yourself to preach it now and then! You might be surprised how much more you can learn and grow.