Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders
  • Confident Leader!

    You’re a good leader, but leadership is challenging and can rattle your confidence. Setbacks, challenges, and problems can cause you to second-guess yourself, doubt, or pull back. Your confidence may be stretched thin, but there is a way to strengthen it.

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    / March 7, 2020 / Comments Off on Confident Leader!

There was a time when only leaders in their 40’s and 50’s told me they were exhausted from leading; now, leaders in their late 20’s and 30’s are saying the same thing.

We could make a list of the changes in culture that may contribute to this issue, but for this post, I’d like to focus on what we can do about it.

Let me make a helpful comparison between leadership vitality and physical vitality.

Patti and I have a personal trainer, and we work out together twice a week. For the other five days, the focus is aerobic. It’s a healthy routine.

We’ve learned that strength and sustainability are good companions.

It takes the right combination of weight and reps to gain strength but also to be able to sustain the program. Too much weight can cause burnout or injury; too little weight does not create the needed strength to live an energetic and vibrant lifestyle.

We can take some cues from this to our leadership.

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It is surprisingly common for leaders to struggle with the process of truly empowering others to lead.

It’s easier to talk about empowering leaders than to actually do it, therefore, practicing and debriefing how it’s going will serve you and your church well.

We can all gain insight into our culture and leadership when we believe we’ve empowered someone to lead, but that person has a different perspective on what actually transpired.

What if they don’t feel empowered? Now what?

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You are first a disciple of Jesus before you are a leader for Jesus.

The values, tone, and purpose of your leadership is shaped by the quality and depth of your discipleship.

Think about how you have been discipled as a follower of Christ. That process has a profound impact on the leader you are today.

You carry the depth, quality, and maturity of your experience as a disciple into your leadership today.

Your spiritual leadership cannot consistently out-perform your life with God. 

None of us ever “arrive” as a leader, which requires us to continue to grow and mature as a disciple.

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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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