Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Author / Dan Reiland

The best long-term strategy for church growth is not church growth.

Focusing on numbers (attendance) is a short-term and short-sighted strategy.

It’s tough to maintain an event driven and program focused approach. It requires more staff and volunteer energy, rarely provides significant or lasting growth, and is often exhausting.

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Good leaders are tough-minded. They’re able to take the heat. They can handle the difficult stuff that comes their way.

People don’t respect leaders who are considered soft, weak, or indecisive.

But there is another side of leadership. It brings heart into play. It balances out the tough side.

Without heart, leadership can feel like medicine; necessary, but undesirable.

The heart brings, among other essentials, kindness into leadership.

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I love the concept of “simple church” (less is more), but I sometimes wonder if there is anything truly simple about leading a church in 2017.

Compared to only 20 years ago, the complexity of local church leadership has dramatically increased. I believe the three primary driving forces are:

  1. Shifts in culture
  2. Innovation in technology
  3. Transitions in leadership

Parts of the new complexity are energizing.

  • The unknown element of the future always brings the hope of progress.
  • Vision paints the picture of something better.
  • The opportunity for innovation gets any leader fired up.

However, as I talk with leaders, from Boomers to Millennials, there is at times a sense of both question and uncertainty. Bluntly stated, most leaders express the feeling of “flying blind” far more now than ever in the past.

“Flying blind” can be destabilizing for any leader, and sometimes flat out overwhelming.

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Momentum is a leader’s best friend.

If you’ve led in a local church for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced seasons of high momentum and seasons when momentum has faded.

Good leaders possess the ability to navigate both in seasons of strong momentum and low momentum; each have their unique challenges.

In the previous post, I addressed “5 Ways Leaders Grasp Momentum.” It will provide helpful and needed context for this post.

Let’s continue the topic with a focus on regaining momentum.

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