Intellectual Health

Youth workers – paid and volunteer – are constantly asked to pour into others. So, how do we make sure our own buckets don’t run dry? This series is encouraging self-evaluation in the area of personal health. For the sake of conversation, we’ve divided personal health into four big areas: relational, intellectual, physical and spiritual. In our first segment we introduced the idea and explored relational health. Today, let’s talk about learning. How do you keep your intellectual bucket full?

Your Intellectual Bucket

What is it?

Your intellectual bucket gets filled up when you’re learning. Your brain is healthiest (and happiest) when it’s being used. However, sometimes we get frustrated with learning because we’ve been forced into learning environments and subjects that actually drained us. This is the intellectual bucket, not the academic bucket. Filling your bucket doesn’t have anything to do with obtaining degrees (well, I suppose it could if that fits your learning style and desire).

As a youth leader, you’re a teacher. The best teachers are constantly learning, so how do you learn best? How can you learn in ways that fill you up? You’re pouring into the kids you serve. How do you make sure your bucket stays full so you can keep pouring out?

What fills you?

You’re reading this blog so let’s recognize that! This is learning. As I’ve talked with teachers, DCEs, pastors and volunteers about how they learn, here’s a short list of what I’ve heard:

TED talks
hands-on projects
mentor/apprentice relationships
taking classes locally
online classes
Rosetta Stone

Did you notice the variety there? Our intellectual buckets can be filled in many different ways. The keys are knowing what works best for you, and taking time to make it happen!

How are you doing?

So, how’s your intellectual bucket? Divide a piece of paper into two columns by drawing a line down the center. Label one side of the paper “filling” and the other side “draining.” Now list the things you’ve been learning and teaching lately. Place each one on the appropriate side of the paper. Some of the things we have to learn and some of the teaching we do is draining. How much of your learning and teaching is filling? What adjustments can you make to stay full?

Other Resources

I like to encourage people to know their learning style. Are you a visual, audible or kinesthetic learner? If you’re unfamiliar with those terms, or you want to gain some insight into your personal learning style, here’s a free online resource to explore:

A Fill Up

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.