Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Church

More and more leaders quietly express a sense of life being out of control.

I think at some level, we all understand what that means; it’s what we do with that thought or feeling that matters.

  • We naturally desire the sense that everything is under control. We like the peace that brings.
  • We dislike the sense of everything being out of control. We don’t like the panic that it produces.

But let’s focus in on reality.

Neither statement is actually true.

  • We never have everything fully under control, though we love it when we think we do.
  • It’s never true that “everything” is completely out of control, even though there are times when it feels this way.

Let’s take this further.

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Innovation. Experimentation. Adaptation.

All three are connected to one thing among high-performance teams.

Continuous Improvement.

And personal development is at the center of the process.

You may or may not relate to the word performance; I can understand that because most church teams are highly relational and also highly spiritual. That’s definitely a good thing, but at some point, performance matters. Doesn’t it?

It’s interesting that in almost all other professions, quality performance is expected, sometimes even demanded.

People will quickly boo a poorly performing athlete, fire a bad mechanic or plumber, change doctors who can’t solve the problem, even send their food back when the cook doesn’t get it right.

Yet in the church, we can sometimes let excellence slide in the name of loving relationships, and I wonder if that is really loving those we serve.

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What do the people you lead need from you?

You could ask it this way:

That’s a good question.

“What do my people need, and where do I need to lead?” 

They’re not “your” people, I know. They are God’s people, but God has placed a group of people under the scope of your care and responsibility. In that way, they are your people.

In fact, because of the love and care we as leaders feel for the people we serve, we often see the congregation as family.

And you always want what’s best for family.

So back to the question.

What does the family need? 

Where does God want me to lead?

2020 has been a challenging year, but God is definitely still with us, and it’s our job to lead the way into 2021 with hope and faith.

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For more than eight months now, most churches have been doing everything possible to navigate what may be remembered as the most difficult season in ministry.

If not the most difficult, likely the most complicated.

We often talk of the new normal, and that’s a great conversation; we need it, but we can’t wait for it to arrive. We need to lead forward now.

We need to build again.

Most churches are either open, trying to open, or preparing to open their physical buildings. That’s a good start. Their teams are simultaneously working hard to deliver high-quality worship services in-person and online, plus all their other ministries as well.  

Both online and in-person can feel like double the work, and leaders across the country tell me they are exhausted.

But here’s the insight.

Leaders are not exhausted from all the work; they are exhausted from all the work with half the results. It’s emotionally draining not to see tangible outcomes anywhere near the corresponding effort.

Resilience is needed now more than ever.

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