Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Spiritual Life

When you are uncertain if the pain of leadership is worth the outcomes of leadership, you are likely to experience frustration, doubt, and lack of joy.

We all love the promise of leadership. Changed lives, a better future, and the advancement of God’s Kingdom. It’s when the promise of leadership hits the pain of leadership that we can begin to doubt and ask, “Is it really worth it?”

The pain of leadership shows up in several different ways. Here are just a few.

The pain of being misunderstood
Communication is complicated. Social media interprets your words, and they travel at light speed. It’s difficult to recapture truth when perception wins the moment.

The pain of rejection
It’s more challenging to lead today than ever before. If you say the wrong thing (anything can be wrong to somebody), you can be canceled.

The pain of a personal attack
Those you have loved, served and developed for years can take you by complete surprise with a personal attack.

The pain of deep discouragement
Discouragement is highly prevalent among church leaders. It’s perhaps the leading cause of throwing in the towel. Unfortunately, Covid has elevated that reality.

When you read a list like this, it’s a sobering reality.

The first step in navigating leadership pain is to decide if it’s worth it.

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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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Leadership is a marathon, not a sprint; you’ve got to take care of yourself if you want to go the distance.

Leaders carry burdens, some are their own, and some for those they love, lead and pour their lives into.

Weariness is common today. It’s not a sense of feeling defeated; in fact, there is great hope about the future, but that doesn’t remove the reality of physical and emotional fatigue that can lead to emptiness. What’s your plan for soul care?

There is great uniqueness in how it plays out for each person.

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Wisdom is not a guaranteed virtue that accompanies age.

Recall the words of Elihu in the book of Job.

“I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.”

Job 32:7-9

(The idea for using this scripture came from David Mathis’ book, Habits of Grace.) Good book!

I wish my grey hair guaranteed wisdom, but it doesn’t! I must pursue wisdom from the primary source, God, “the breath of the Almighty.”

There is a great difference between learning, growing, and changing every year and repeating the same things over and over again — be careful of that trap.

One leads to wisdom; the other leads to exhaustion.

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