Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Relationships

The core of true companionship is acceptance, honesty, and trust.

The need for genuine friendship, especially in ministry, has always been real, but perhaps now more than ever.

Before we dive in:
Here are three heightened realities why meaningful friendships are needed now more than ever:

  • Isolation – It’s easy to be in leadership, surrounded by people, yet still live-in relative isolation. The pressures outside us can cause us to pull back and retreat within.
  • Division – What were once merely differences of opinions have become dividing lines of the soul. In some cases, even friends and family have drawn lines not to be crossed.
  • Competition – What should be Kingdom cooperation can sometimes feel competitive. As fears and insecurities rise, competition increases.

Friendships that reach across the lines help to solve isolation, division, and competition.

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The quality and enduring nature of your relationships will make or break your leadership.

That axiom is true in every arena of leadership but especially so in the church.

When coaching a leader who’s in a difficult situation, I ask them a blunt question. “Do they like you?” The response is usually a startled, “What? What do you mean?” “I mean, do the people you work with like you?” 

That may seem overly simplistic to what is likely a complicated situation, but the answer has a significant influence on the outcome.

If the people you work with like you, the potential to work out the conflict or get through a difficult circumstance is high. If they don’t, you are traveling uphill for sure.

An important question is how much do you invest in relationships? It’s like putting money in the bank. The more you have invested, the greater the returns, and over time it’s compounding in your favor.

In contrast, if you relationally make more withdrawals than contributions, over time, the people you work with won’t want to work with you.

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If you’re a leader, you know the incredible value of a great team, and you also know the heartache and exhaustion of a team that doesn’t function well.

Silos, lack of clarity, unhealthy competition, division, blame, politics… you know the kinds of things that destroy good teamwork.

Have you ever wondered how that happens?

You could jump right to sin nature, but great church teams are subject to sin nature too, so that’s not it.

You never hire a staff member or select an incompetent volunteer leader, at odds with the vision, divisive, immature, political, and can’t get along with people. Right? Right.

But teams break down.

How?

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There’s a difference between working at home because you want to and working at home because you have to.

Working at home was an appealing privilege to many, but can now produce feelings of Cabin Fever on steroids.

When your kids become your office mates, new challenges arise.

Home Schooling, working, and doing family life every day in your home may be fun for a week, but “until further notice” can be overwhelming.

Where I live outside the city of Atlanta, we’ve just received a “Stay at Home” directive. That’s different than “I get to work at home.” It’s psychological when you don’t have options; you can feel trapped, and your perspective changes. That impacts your attitude.

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