Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Relationships

Building an extraordinary team is a huge endeavor. It’s exciting, rewarding but it’s also hard work. It’s just never done.

It’s a little like gardening. You just get everything growing great and looking good only to have a severe weather change, or you got busy and forgot to water or fertilize. Maybe a pest gets in your lawn. We’ve had a gopher now for two or three years. It’s a battle and he’s winning!

But if you work hard and stick with it, the result is beautiful. It’s organic, so it’s never perfect and always changing, but it’s worth the effort.

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All great leaders are devoted students of human nature.

The more effort and energy you invest in understanding why people do what they do, the better leader you become.

That’s the practical essence of human nature – why people do what they do.

Your biblical view and theological bias play no small part in what shapes your thinking. Sin, selfishness and a broken world is obviously part of the equation. But equally so is redemption, the Holy Spirit’s power, and purpose through Christ.

The tension between both of those powerful forces for good and evil is real and active.

The daily choices we all make in what sometimes seems like a fine line between good and evil, forms the ongoing patterns of human nature.

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People pleasing is common among leaders in the local church.

People pleasing is when you lead in such a way that you attempt to keep everyone happy. You receive affirmation and therefore feel good.

The congregation is happy, so they feel good; seems harmless enough.

But the ill-gained affirmation you receive will hurt you and your leadership over the long-haul. And of course, you can’t keep everyone happy even if that was a good idea.

You will end up exhausted, and some of the followers that are happy with you at the moment will turn against you the first time you attempt to make a tough decision that doesn’t go to their liking.

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With more than 35 years in leadership now, I’ve learned that it’s truly all about people. That may seem obvious, but not all leaders behave as if they know or agree with that thought.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how gifted you are, or how much you know about vision and strategy. If you don’t know how to connect with and get along with people, you won’t make it far as a leader.

We’ve all made our fair share of relational mistakes, and no doubt you are grateful like I am, for the people who have been kind and patient. I appreciate the people who gave me a chance and still give me grace.

When you learn to treat people like you want to be treated, it’s amazing how much better life becomes.

I’ve learned that if I put others first, life has a way of giving back in wonderfully positive ways. That’s not the motivation, but it is the blessing.

If you don’t invest in friendships, you may end up traveling through life alone. The encouraging truth is that great relationships are not that difficult. They require time, love, and the willingness to not always get your way.

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