Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Leadership

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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You know God loves you.
You know He answers prayer.
You know your eternal destiny is secured.

But have you ever secretly, quietly, wondered, “God are you with me right now?” 

Intellectually, biblically, you know He is, but in the quiet of the night, it might not always feel that way. 

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The core of true companionship is acceptance, honesty, and trust.

The need for genuine friendship, especially in ministry, has always been real, but perhaps now more than ever.

Before we dive in:
Here are three heightened realities why meaningful friendships are needed now more than ever:

  • Isolation – It’s easy to be in leadership, surrounded by people, yet still live-in relative isolation. The pressures outside us can cause us to pull back and retreat within.
  • Division – What were once merely differences of opinions have become dividing lines of the soul. In some cases, even friends and family have drawn lines not to be crossed.
  • Competition – What should be Kingdom cooperation can sometimes feel competitive. As fears and insecurities rise, competition increases.

Friendships that reach across the lines help to solve isolation, division, and competition.

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