Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Spiritual Life

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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Leaders who are fully engaged in their mission fight battles.

There is no way to avoid battles if you want to make progress consistently.

New territory is never easy, and it always comes at a price.

Life never grants a free ride, and leaders don’t receive a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to solving serious problems.

The good news is that we don’t fight alone. God brings His presence, power, and favor to the mix, but He never removes the human element.

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The most daunting and challenging responsibility for church leaders is not church growth; it’s leading people to greater spiritual maturity.

We’ve learned much in the last thirty years about how to grow a church. Growing an organization is “easy” compared to helping a person grow as a spiritual human being.

We understand stuff like small groups, how to follow up on a new guest, children’s ministry, etc. We do well with org charts, financial reviews, and we almost have the coffee right. But the transformation of a person from a spiritual infant to spiritual maturity – Whoa! That you can’t fit in a blog post, a conference talk and even a good book can’t cover it all.

Personal transformation requires the grace and power of God, along with the desire and deliberate effort of each individual. Then, there is a “real and present” enemy who wants to stop the process! Only the courageous keep leading here.

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