Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Church

Starting well in your first year is so important for the long run of your leadership.

In your first year of ministry, it is more important to focus on your internal adjustments more than external accomplishments.

I’m sure I did this backwards for a season. (Probably longer than I’d like to admit.)

I was so excited to reach people for Jesus and driven for results that when margins were thin, my default was results, not my personal growth.

Soon enough, fortunately, both were happening, growing under John Maxwell’s incredible mentoring and seeing the church grow.

However, because in those early years, I didn’t make as many of the internal adjustments as my coach pointed me toward, I actually slowed my growth for a while.

Internal adjustments are things like leading by values rather than leading by pressure, overcoming insecurities, wanting more for people than from people, developing and empowering leaders rather than just being busy doing ministry, and the list goes on.

I’m writing this post as if I could sit with you, in your first year of ministry leadership, regardless of your age, and help get you started in the best way possible. (Or play a little catch-up if needed.)

Or perhaps if you are now a supervisor or coach of leaders, this post may be helpful to you as you get new leaders started well.

Let’s agree on something.

Results matter. Reaching more people for Christ is the mission. But if you don’t lead yourself well, you can’t lead others well. Start there.

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Leadership is rewarding and definitely worth it, but let’s be honest, there are many days when it’s no picnic.

Typically, those days have something to do with human conflict.

Would you agree?

And one of the most tension-filled situations involving conflict is attempting to lead someone who doesn’t want to follow you. So when that happens, do you know what to do?

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If you were to predict the future of the Church, where do you think it’s headed?

(Not so much the style or method of doing church, but the overall strength and vitality of the Church.)

So often, that question is examined by considering the future (the unknown), but I think understanding the present (the known) can be more instructive.

Every week I talk with at least a pastor or two somewhere in the US who is asking the question of the future of the Church, and I ask them to tell me what they see happening now. That is a leading indicator.

If you think change is needed. Now is the time.

From these conversations, I’ve extracted a few questions to help you form an opinion. Your answers will inform and shape your leadership.

Without a doubt, next to the favor and grace of God, it is great leadership that will carry us through. What you do today creates the stepping-stones to your future.

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What’s next?! A common question today amongst leaders.

How do we lead with authentic hope when the future seems so cloudy?

You must first possess a positive outlook on the future before you can authentically lead with hope.

Let’s be honest; that’s not easy or automatic right now.

We certainly have hope for the future because Christ is our hope, but that doesn’t eliminate the number or size of challenges we face.

Let’s just say it. Leading today is difficult.

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