Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Spiritual Life

Leadership is not an easy road, but shortcuts never serve you well.

Under pressure, we are all tempted to take the more comfortable and familiar path, but the results you want come from an approach that includes sacrifice.

Under pressure it’s easy to choose:

  • Authority over Humility
  • Popularity over Obscurity
  • Security over Unfamiliarity

It’s natural to prefer going up rather than giving up. The basic drive in a leader wants more for the organization, greater territory, and increasing results. This leadership drive to grow and expand is a good thing because it’s connected to reaching more people with the good news of Jesus Christ. But all that can get blurry when sacrifice is removed from the process of success.

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Is it possible for a church to take the Gospel for granted?

Can we get so accustomed to it that we miss its power and significance to ministry?

Could a church be so busy doing ministry (good things) that it’s not focused on Jesus?

I think it’s possible. It’s possible in really good churches led by good spiritual leaders.

Church can be exhausting. There is so much to do. The grand irony in the church is that the human element can crowd out the divine element. It’s never intentional, but it can happen. The daily responsibilities in the natural realm can distract us from the supernatural realm.

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Leaders need to be strong and make good decisions.

Leaders need to know and declare the vision.

Leaders need to demonstrate confidence and deliver hope.

But how does submission fit in?

We don’t talk about this topic very often.

I used to think a leader’s great challenge was submission, but I’ve changed my thinking.

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Be careful what you ask for.

We all know the punch line, right? “Because you might get it.”

But what if that’s not the real punch line?

What if the real answer is “Because you might not know what you are asking for?”

We know God wants success for us. The tension resides in the fact that we don’t always define success the same way God does.

We might think success is a big church in the burbs. God might think success is a small church in the country. Or what if God doesn’t connect success to numbers at all? What if God’s definition is more about character, trust, obedience, loving people, lifting His name and teaching the gospel?

God did promise new territory to Joshua. (Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.) That does sound like “numbers.”

But God also focused on the relationship Joshua had with Him.

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:7-8

How you define success matters.

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