Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Spiritual Life

If you’re the pastor or on the church staff, you carry the role of host at Christmas.

Planning for weeks to share the good news of Jesus’ birth, you can’t wait for the guests to arrive. It’s going to be wonderful. You can hardly wait.

You’ve already had services on Sunday, and Christmas Eve is near – more services!

You’ve invested many weeks designing and communicating the invitation. The worship teams have rehearsed for countless hours. Then, of course, writing the sermon, God’s Word carrying the good news. From the parking lot to the hospitality teams to the children’s ministry and, of course, that special Christmas coffee – there is so much involved.

You are praying and praying for people to respond to the invitation at the end of the service…

The big question in this grand celebration of the birth of the Savior is:
When will you have an opportunity to savor the Savior?

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One of the greatest risks in local church ministry is not having specific people pray for you as a leader.

Serving as a pastor for 38 years has continued to teach me the importance and the power of prayer. Too often leaders attempt to carry the prayer burden alone and therefore become spiritually unprotected.

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The problems we face are commonly packaged in circumstances like financial crunches, people conflicts, and strategic challenges. They are all very real.

Yet, scripture reminds us there is something else, something larger in motion.

If you are a leader in the church, you have a role in the battle between good and evil.

It’s a spiritual battle that plays itself out in the natural realm.

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After the service what do you hear about the sermon? What do you read on social media?

  • “It wasn’t deep enough.”
  • “I loved the message, God spoke to me!”
  • “Pastor Bob’s sermon from 1st Church was better, he connects better.”
  • “That teaching was challenging and convicted me, thank you!”
  • “It was boring and I didn’t get anything out of it.”
  • “Pastor brought the heat, can’t wait for next Sunday!”
  • “I really couldn’t listen, I’m not happy with the Pastor right now.”

If you have been part of a church for some time you’ve heard all these and more. It’s not a slam on the local church, it’s part of our humanity, but that doesn’t mean it’s all good.

There’s nothing wrong with some constructive criticism, in fact helpful critique is good. But there is a big difference between helpful critique and hurtful criticism about the Sunday sermon.

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