Sam S. Rainer III Archives - Page 2 of 9 - Church Executive


Why local influence is more essential than a national platform

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Pastor A has a top-ranked podcast, a book deal from a well-known publisher, and 150,000 Twitter followers.

Pastor B is the secretary at the local Rotary Club, is the assistant football coach at the middle school, and recently joined a bowling league.

Both pastors have influence. Both are doing God’s will. Both enjoy their callings.

I will make a bold statement: Pastor B’s local influence is ultimately more vital to church health than Pastor A’s national platform.

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The big Baby Boomer opportunity

The Boomers are now 30 again. They doubled-up on years and are entering their 60s. From this point until 2030, about 10,000 Boomers will retire every day. The leadership baton is passing to Millennials. A new people are beginning to lead churches. As one among the oldest of my generation (I was born in 1980), I have been the first Millennial pastor of a few churches, following Boomer pastors in leadership. Like a lot of new, younger pastors, I inherited a large population of Boomers in my congregation. We are left with a key question: What should we do with all these Baby Boomers?

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Leader: Are you an analyst or a catalyst?

Good leaders are both analysts and catalysts. Leaders must accurately describe reality. Leaders must create for a better future. An analyst has a proper understanding of present reality. A catalyst knows what to create for a better future. The analyst helps followers understand the present. The catalyst inspires followers to move towards the future.

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2 unseen benefits of being an established church

The “established” side of the established church is often viewed with some derision. I certainly understand why.The establishment can be stodgy, stuck and stuffy. Being established, however, is what you make it.

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How to select a mission partner

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The requests come through different means — email, in-person, lunch meetings, over coffee, phone calls, and social media. The asks all differ slightly, but the spirit of most of them is the same: Will you support my ministry?

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Listening when you can’t possibly hear everyone

If you’re like me, you want your voice heard — even at the top levels of leadership. I may not be able to have lunch with the President of the United States, but I do want to feel like he’s listening to me. I don’t believe it’s an unreasonable expectation of followers to want their voices heard by top leaders.

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2 key filters for evaluating senior leaders you don’t know

Perhaps you’ve noticed, but a few people are beginning to campaign for the presidential election in 2016. Ultimately, the field will narrow to two (maybe three). I’m not a political junkie, but I try to pay attention to someone who might end up leading my country.

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Why the generation gap is larger now more than ever

Many cultural changes affect generation gaps. For instance, my father’s choice of 1960’s rock is quite different than my preference of 1990’s rock. And we all know music style can be a contentious issue in the Church.

Technology, however, is often cited as the main wedge between generations in the U.S. culture.

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Stop getting mad at people who question change

Most people don’t like change. Most leaders want to challenge the status quo. Leadership is, in part, the process of helping people see the need for change, embrace the vision for change, and then implement the change.

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The one growth obstacle churches don’t admit

Some churches stay in a perpetual cycle of growing and declining. The church peaks, then dips, only to peak again. It’s possible for a church to stay in this cycle for decades.

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