Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Relationships

Leadership starts at home. How you love and lead at home has a dramatic effect on how you love and lead in the church. That’s not always an easy truth to embrace, but it’s undeniable.

There is no org chart at home, and if there was, doesn’t it sometimes feel like your two-year-old is in charge?

You may lead a large church or campus or department, hire staff, and people follow your lead. Then you come home to two teenagers you dearly love but sometimes make you second-guess if you are doing the right things.

That’s just real life. And if you listen and learn, you not only become a better mom or dad but a better leader.

It can be challenging to lead well at home, but it just may be the most important environment you ever lead.

Why is it so tough?

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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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