Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Is the church different than it was just three years ago?

Of course.

Life is different, so people are different, and we see life through different and changing lenses. That clearly impacts the church.

As culture changes, people see the church differently; they are asking questions and making decisions about church. As leaders, we need to rise above the distractions, love people, and keep Jesus as the unapologetic focus.

The truth and centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ should never change, but it continues to be challenged, questioned, and doubted. That isn’t new. What is new is that other topics are trying to take center stage.

Sadly, sometimes Jesus is dismissed not because of who He is but because of how the church is perceived.

The church is still the hope of the world, but we have work to do. Of course, we do; we’ve had stuff to work on since the early New Testament Church!

Those who lead think about things like preaching the gospel, strategic focus, meeting needs, the power of the Holy Spirit, reaching the lost, and budgets.

Those who attend think about things like, are you friendly, do they fit in, do you care about what they care about, do their kids like to attend, and are you clear about your convictions and beliefs?

The point… those who lead the church think about it and therefore evaluate it differently than those who attend. We need to understand the lens through which people view the church and lead accordingly without sacrificing the mission.

This reality can make church leadership feel like a daunting responsibility.

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Are you feeling rested, refreshed, and ready for the fall ministry season?

Over many conversations, it seems like there is a mixed bag of responses such as:

  • I tried to get a break over the summer but didn’t really get one, and I’m tired.
  • I sense God’s presence, and we are ready!
  • I’m looking forward to the fall, but I have some big problems to face.
  • I’m rested but feeling unclear about our direction for the fall.

How would you respond?

As a leader, it’s important to have trusted confidants to talk to, a few people who are safe, smart, and strong. Advisors you know you can be honest with. At times they are literally a lifeline to you.

It’s good to get benchmarks from other trusted leaders; that helps clarify your perspective but be careful of comparison. You need to be solidly in touch with how you and your ministry are doing and focus there.

The fall season will soon be here, and we all want to see life change and growth. But while your programs are important, they are not the primary driving factor. Instead, God’s presence and your leadership make the difference.

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How would you assess the strength of your volunteer teams?

  • Strong and vibrant
  • Steady and good
  • Struggling but functional
  • Trying to survive

Maybe it depends on the ministry.

Many of your volunteers have returned, and no doubt you are grateful for that, but how have they returned? How are they doing?

How are they at a soul level?

How strong are their serving capacities?

If your church’s staff and key leaders have been impacted by the realities of the past couple of years, your volunteers have been affected too.

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Leadership has never been a spectator sport; we must get in the game from day one.

When you’ve invited a young leader onto your team, it’s important that you’re prepared to develop them, willing to hand them the ball and let them run.

How fast and far you let a young leader run depends on their skill level, experience, and growth rate as they are developed.

However, my experience is that most young leaders are more capable and ready to run than their coaches perceive them to be.

Young leaders are our future; let’s help them lead!

How can you know when a young leader is ready?

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