Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

The first time I watched a video of myself “preaching” a Sunday morning message, I went into shock. I thought: “That is not what I look like, that is not what I sound like, and asked myself, ‘What was I trying to say?”’

I considered becoming a monk. I could still serve God, but no one would have to listen to me speak.

My communication coach was tough on me, and that was good. Thankfully, I’ve improved. But I learned an important lesson. If I don’t face reality, I can’t get better.

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What do people want from their church leader?

You might be a senior pastor, volunteer small group leader, campus pastor, head usher, student pastor, or leader of the parking team.

Ultimately, people want the same basic things from you as a leader.

Some of the people you serve may place a lot of demands on you, and you’ll go crazy if you try to meet all those demands.

But I have found, in general, that most people are reasonable, and at the core, they want the same essentials from a leader.

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Some leaders seem to bring more energy to the mix than others.

Leadership energy is more about intentionality than personality. Yes, some leaders have bigger personalities than others, but there is much more to leadership than charisma, “woo” and persona. In fact, personality alone can be detrimental to enduring leadership.

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One of my favorite movies is the 1992 modern classic, “A Few Good Men.” It starred Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, Jack Nicolson as Colonel Nathan Jessep, and Demi Moore as Lieutenant Commander Joanne Calloway. It’s a great leadership movie.

You probably remember the famous “You can’t handle the truth!” dialogue, but do you remember this scene?

Kaffee: Yes, Sir. Colonel, at the time of this meeting, you gave Lt. Kendrick an order, is that right?
Jessep: I told Kendrick to tell his men, that Santiago wasn’t to be touched.
Kaffee: And did you give an order to Colonel Markinson as well?
Jessep: I ordered Markinson to have Santiago transferred off the base immediately.
Kaffee: Why?
Jessep: I felt his life might be in danger once word of the letter got out.
Kaffee: Grave danger?
Jessep: Is there another kind?

Grave danger… is there any other kind?

That may seem over-the-top or a bit dramatic for a blog post intro. Most of us who are leaders in the church are not nearly as intense as Kaffee or Jessep, our work doesn’t require us to carry weapons, and we aren’t often in a courtroom.

But as I think about the gospel story, it is dramatic. It is about life and death. When it comes to the local church, the stakes are high and we do stand post for the Kingdom!

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