Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

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If you were to predict the future of the Church, where do you think it’s headed?

(Not so much the style or method of doing church, but the overall strength and vitality of the Church.)

So often, that question is examined by considering the future (the unknown), but I think understanding the present (the known) can be more instructive.

Every week I talk with at least a pastor or two somewhere in the US who is asking the question of the future of the Church, and I ask them to tell me what they see happening now. That is a leading indicator.

If you think change is needed. Now is the time.

From these conversations, I’ve extracted a few questions to help you form an opinion. Your answers will inform and shape your leadership.

Without a doubt, next to the favor and grace of God, it is great leadership that will carry us through. What you do today creates the stepping-stones to your future.

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Emerging from the panic of 2020 and the life patterns of 2021, we now face substantial complexities in shaping, communicating, and realizing vision.

There are at least three challenges we face:

Challenge #1 – We are relearning how current culture views the church.
Over the past twenty years or more church has moved from a central institution in the community to an option. Today, for an increasing number, the physical gathering and engagement in church (the body of Christ) is moving from an option to something no longer seen as necessary.

Challenge #2 – Church leaders are less prone to take risks.
There are clear pitfalls to playing it safe, yet prudence compels us to have some sense of caution when the future remains unclear. Nonetheless, vision is still required, and all real forward-moving vision has risk. What do you risk? What do you protect?

Challenge #3 – Isolation has elevated individualism that seeks its own way.
Vision is designed to be achieved together; the impact is far greater that way. We can do far more together than alone. When human beings drawback from community, especially from fear, their thinking changes from “what we could accomplish together” to “what must I do to survive.” That’s not true for everyone, of course, but the shift is evident.

No matter what we are experiencing, vision remains at the very core of leadership and, when done well, produces the momentum every leader prays for.

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2021 is well underway …

The presidential election is settled, the vaccine is in the beginning stages of distribution, and you no doubt have a strategic plan in process for your church.

How’s it going so far?

Even though you may have some unanswered questions and perhaps a few setbacks that linger from 2020, God is in control, and you have a tremendous opportunity to bless your community.

Before we jump into the meat of this post, let’s do a quick assessment of how you’re thinking and how you’re feeling.

Here’s a quick 5-point checklist of your leadership thinking for 2021:

  • You are applying what you learned in 2020.
  • You know what you have to offer your community.
  • Your faith in God and your confidence in your vision is strong.
  • Your staff is fully engaged.
  • Your plans are clear for the first 3 – 6 months.

If you are unsure or unclear about any of the above, I encourage you to dig in now and shore up whatever needs your attention.

How are you feeling?

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These “Top 10” posts of the year are what you, the readers have selected as the most helpful to you. In case you missed any, we’ve gathered them in one easily accessed list for you.

Thank you for reading my blog. My commitment and calling remains high to do all I can to help you develop as a leader and advance the mission of your church.

My prayer is that you and your church will flourish and reach many more for Jesus!

I hope you will continue to find these writings helpful, and will share them generously with your friends and colleagues.

I pray God’s best for you in 2018!

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