Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Church

Leadership is influence … for the good of the people and the advancement of the mission.

It’s one thing to gain influence and a very different thing to sustain influence.

Which one of the two do you think is more difficult?

Did you ever get “straight A’s” in school? Which was more difficult, getting all A’s or doing it, again and again, semester after semester?

Exactly.

When you show up on your first day on the job, the people will extend influence to you. Starting the second day, they are already deciding if they will let you keep it.

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The new year is just around the corner.

What is your perspective for 2022?

  • Hopeful?
  • Uncertain?
  • Concerned?

Personally, I’m very hopeful. I’m praying for and anticipate a strong Kingdom advancing year.

Why?

I’m hopeful about 2022 because of how much we all have learned, how we’ve grown, the changes we made, and my faith in God who is for us and with us.

Jesus, Himself said, “. . . I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)

That is reason enough for hope.

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It’s going on twenty months now that we have been leading in a destabilized culture, and therefore leading our churches as they experience and absorb the destabilizing impacts.

Business too, and life in general, though better now, is still an unstable ride.

Any time life and leadership feel destabilized, our instinct is to regain stability as quickly as possible and normalize it. 

Growing up in Southern California, I finally decided to learn to surf and spent every extra minute at the beach when I was 16 years old.

Surfing was short-lived for me, lasting only a little over one summer because it was clear to see I was never going to be very good at it. In the end, after one pretty good ride, I face-planted at high speed in a giant kelp bed, and that was pretty much the end of it.

One thing I learned while surfing is that you cannot control the waves; you can only learn to ride them or fall.

The waves are unpredictable and require a sense of balance and intuition; if you fight them, you’ll either never catch one, or you will fall as soon as you do. 

Leadership has felt that way, now more than ever.

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There was a time when only leaders in their 40’s and 50’s told me they were exhausted from leading; now, leaders in their late 20’s and 30’s are saying the same thing.

We could make a list of the changes in culture that may contribute to this issue, but for this post, I’d like to focus on what we can do about it.

Let me make a helpful comparison between leadership vitality and physical vitality.

Patti and I have a personal trainer, and we work out together twice a week. For the other five days, the focus is aerobic. It’s a healthy routine.

We’ve learned that strength and sustainability are good companions.

It takes the right combination of weight and reps to gain strength but also to be able to sustain the program. Too much weight can cause burnout or injury; too little weight does not create the needed strength to live an energetic and vibrant lifestyle.

We can take some cues from this to our leadership.

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