Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Church

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”   

Abraham Lincoln

When you think in terms of leadership, this is a great truth that is relevant to the church.

When churches or senior leadership teams within the church are not aligned, and in many cases openly divided:

  • They can’t stand unified.
  • They can’t move forward.
  • They can’t fully honor God.

It’s sad to see church leaders divided. Sometimes it’s literally a room of angry people raising their voices and demanding their way. Others are more sophisticated, holding quiet meetings in secret, and pressing personal agendas forward. Both are just as dangerous and break God’s heart.

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The higher you rise in leadership, the fewer decisions you make, but the greater the weight each decision carries.

Leadership and decision-making are inseparable. It’s part of the territory. Owning your decisions is the real weight. Any leader enjoys the resulting success from a good decision, but when a bad decision is made, the great leaders take responsibility. And the truth is, if you’ve never made a bad call, you are playing it too safe.

Unfortunately, some leaders respond to a decision that didn’t go well like putting their hand on a hot stove. They just don’t go near stoves anymore. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes and stay in the game. 

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Who’s your favorite team in the NFL? How’d they do last season?

Are you proud or was it painful?

I know… we all want to win. Of course, we do. Who wakes up and thinks, I hope we lose?

Your church team is no different. It’s God’s church and His purpose, so positive results are important. As long as it’s all about Jesus and not so much about us, let’s press the pedal to the metal.

I acknowledge that we might sometimes measure long-term success differently than God does. For example, we can all agree that the Great Commission calls us to reach more people and help them mature in their faith. But I don’t think that we get to determine how large our churches become. I think that’s up to the sovereignty of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

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With more than three decades in ministry now, I’m convinced there are no shortcuts in ministry that will help you in the long run.

Perhaps the temptation to cut corners comes from our time pressures, cool technology hacks, and our drive to accomplish more. Fair enough.

I’ve even heard some leaders slide “cutting corners” into the category of working smarter not harder. Don’t believe it. We need to work smart and hard.

You might be tempted to cut corners just because you can. You are faster, smarter and more experienced than most others in the room — big mistake. 

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