Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

The number one topic in the local church over the last 30 plus years addresses the question, “How do I grow my church?” How can we break through to reach more people for Jesus?

The words change, but the issue remains the same. Years ago, we called them growth barriers, and now the question sounds more like “How do I get unstuck? How can we get unstuck to reach more people?

There was about a decade when we switched from church growth to church health, but it always comes back to growth. The reason for that is that healthy things grow!

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People intuitively seek traits of the heart over skills of the trade when choosing a pastor to connect with and follow spiritually.

Yes, things like good preaching, wise administration, and strong ministry programming matter, but they are not at the top of the list.

There’s a lot of grace for a “good not great” sermon when the pastor is fully trusted, loved and is a good leader.

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Just because you have a leadership position doesn’t mean you are leading. That’s a sobering thought.

All of us who carry the responsibility to lead must be honest about the question, “Are you leading?”

It’s so easy to be busy, work hard, even feel exhausted, and not actually be leading. In fact, in many cases the leader is working so hard and is so busy, they don’t realize they are not leading.

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It was 29 years ago when I met Dr. Billy Graham. I had prayed a youthful prayer for ten years asking God that I might have one minute with my spiritual hero. That moment came on Oct 12, 1989.

John and Margaret Maxwell invited Patti and I to the 40th anniversary celebration of Billy Graham’s Evangelistic Crusades, sponsored by the Salvation Army.

The time with John and Margaret was wonderful, and the dinner celebration honoring Dr. Graham was amazing. But a private moment with Billy Graham was, to a young pastor, a once in a lifetime gift.

The photo in this post is a special one to me. My spiritual hero and my leadership mentor. (No comments on the glasses or mustache.. hey, it was the 80’s!)

The evening was fast-paced and there were probably 50-75 reporters pressing in on the famous evangelist before the celebration started. Somehow in all the hustle; John, Dr. Graham and I ended up in a private room for several minutes together.

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