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Your Belief System and Your Church (14): Unlearning Creates Success

We are programmed to think that being successful is following a set of principles from Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, John Maxwell, or others like them who have demonstrated notable successes. But what if achieving success is not dependent on what you additionally need to learn, but rather on what you retroactively need to UNLEARN?

UNLEARNING. I have been describing all the traditional paradigms I was taught that I had to discard to be successful. All kinds of professors’ belief systems were jammed into my undergraduate teacher training. I have described beliefs I had to change concerning music talent in my students, the depth of subject matter, positioning students for optimum learning, students’ different learning styles, sequenced skills for learning music, basic gateway skills, teacher and student accountability, active participation, artistry, musicianship, and aesthetics, assessments, teaching versus learning, and teachers’ three phases. I have also spoken of how I had to grow professionally, accept ownership of all situations, exercise accountability on myself, teach accountability to students, operate continually in excellence, learn risk-taking, accept failures as steps toward success, and how to innovate and pioneer.

If you have felt, more than just mentally understood, these situations as I described them to you, you know the large amount of UNLEARNING that I had to do. Every one of us copies our past and has things to unlearn. New teachers in their beginning teaching will invariably emulate both the good and the bad of whatever they experienced from their past teachers. College music methods students I teach must first be told about unlearning before learning.

UNLEARNING IS FRUSTRATING. What is unlearning like? Unlearning can be frustrating. Think of what happens when remodeling an existing house. You want to build on a room. You carefully plan all the steps from digging a foundation footer, to exposing existing floor joists, to joining new construction walls to the old ones, to making both the existing and addition unified on the outside, and so on. You calculate the cost of new materials and labor. Yet, when you begin uncovering the existing structure, you find 10 major problems to fix before new construction can move ahead. What would happen if you ignored those 10 major problems and went ahead with your new construction anyway? What would eventually happen to your existing house had you not discovered those hidden problems?

UNLEARNING IS PAINFUL. Think also of what sometimes happens when you visit a medical doctor or a chiropractor. They begin to work on the problem that caused you to make the appointment, but in the process, you feel unexplainably worse. Your body knows something that you and your doctor do not know. It has to fix some hidden problems before it can address the more obvious ones.

UNLEARNING IS CHALLENGING. Unlearning is identifying and solving those hidden problems that hinder forward progression and success. In the teaching world, unlearning is the process of rigorously questioning what came before, keeping that which is 100% constructive for all times beyond what is popular for the moment, strengthening that which can be improved, and casting aside that which cannot.

UNLEARNING IS UNCOMFORTABLE. Some people are very uncomfortable and unwilling to unlearn because of fear of loosing familiar boundaries and changing old habits.

Pastor, what does your paradigm for unlearning look like? Are you willing to change? Are you willing to challenge every function, activity, and process that makes you a church? What needs to be unlearned to achieve a higher realm of success? What hidden obstacle(s) may need to be uncovered?

Your Belief System and Your Church: (1) Introduction

Your Belief System and Your Church: (2) Your Paradigms

Your Belief System and Your Church: (3) Bondage or Freedom

Your Belief System and Your Church: (4) Gateway Skills

Your Belief System and Your Church: (5) Teacher Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (6) Talking About vs. Doing

Your Belief System and Your Church: (7) Student Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (8) Assessment

Your Belief System and Your Church: (9) Bury Dead Tradition

Your Belief System and Your Church: (10) Teaching vs. Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (11) Teachers' Three Phases

Your Belief System and Your Church: (12) Excellence is NOT a Goal

Your Belief System and Your Church: (13) My Teaching Limits Were Their Learning Limits

Your Belief System and Your Church: (14) Unlearning Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (15) Pioneers vs. Settlers

Your Belief System and Your Church: (16) Real and Lasting Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (17) Problems With Memory

Your Belief System and Your Church: (18) Ownership Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (19) Not Perfect, But Honest

Your Belief System and Your Church: (20) Take Risks and Give Away Control

Your Belief System and Your Church: (21) Out of a Job

Your Belief System and Your Church: (22) KCAASE and Proverbs 24

Your Belief System and Your Church: (23) Responding vs. Reacting

Your Belief System and Your Church: (24) Only When Performed

Your Belief System and Your Church: (25) A Supervisor's Vision

Your Belief System and Your Church: (26) Glimpses Into the Spiritual

Your Belief System and Your Church: (27) One Reason Alone

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Pastor, how do you respond when one of your congregants points out something you need to unlearn?
Do you respond in anger, do you look to see why the person sees it that way? Ok I admit that sometimes the congregants delivery of complaints is poor and down right painful. I've been guilty of it myself, primarily because I had not been taught how to offer comments with a skilled delivery. That did not make my point any less valid. It did make it harder to swallow. So Pastor do you look beyond the poor delivery to see what is being said; to see why the person is being critical.
Ah Ha, Lisa, you have read between my lines.
Dave
Ummm.... I love two very special, rather human Pastors with whom I have gone a few rounds. I seem to have a knack for pushing buttons in one of them. They do the same to me. I read between the lines because I have experienced it! Flip side is I need to follow my own advice...

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