Podcast

Rainer on Leadership

Your online home for leadership lessons for both the church and the workplace.

Episodes

  • Six Reasons Longevity Is Critical for Change Leadership – Rainer on Leadership #565

    Aug 23 2019

    Podcast Episode #565 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Change in a church does not happen overnight. Leading a group of people to change takes time. Today we look at six reasons why longevity is so critical to change. Some highlights from today’s episode include: It often takes around five years to become the pastor in the hearts of church members. Those who you think are your biggest supporters early in a pastorate too often turn into so...more

  • Six Reasons Pastors Must Become Change Leaders – Rainer on Leadership #564

    Aug 20 2019

    Podcast Episode #564 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Determining the correct pace of change is often the most important aspect of leading change—because change is needed in nearly every church situation. Today, we discuss why change is essential and how to do it well. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Many pastors are hesitant to make change because they know the wrong pace of change could cost them their job. How do you eat...more

  • Six Reasons Why the Minimization of Numerical Metrics Is Dangerous – Rainer on Leadership #563

    Aug 16 2019

    Podcast Episode #563 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Metrics have a bad reputation in some churches. In others, they’re too much of the focus. Today, we discus why you should take a balanced approach to metrics. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There is a danger in churches becoming numerically obsessed. There is also a danger in churches neglecting numbers. What gets measured gets accomplished. Church health and church gro...more

  • Six Reasons Why “People Are Saying . . .” Is the Most Frustrating Comment for Church Leaders – Rainer on Leadership #562

    Aug 13 2019

    Podcast Episode #562 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify When a pastor hears the phrase “People are saying . . . “, it brings a great deal of anxiety. But should it? Today, we discuss the reasons for the anxiety and how to deal with it. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We should address grievances directly with one another in the church—not through gossip. Critical views are typically held by only a few in a church, but their s...more

  • Five Updates on Pastoral Attire – Rainer on Leadership #561

    Aug 09 2019

    Podcast Episode #561 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Pastoral attire seems to be a hot issue in almost every church. Today, we discuss the response to another recent podcast on the subject and provide a few updates. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There are a plethora of impassioned perspectives and opinions on the subject of pastoral attire. Society is trending more casual when it comes to attire, and so are churches. Eve...more

  • Five Reasons Some Churches Celebrate Debt Retirement – Rainer on Leadership #560

    Aug 06 2019

    Podcast Episode #560 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Debt can drag down a church’s finances and keep it from being able to minister as it would like to. So when a church retires its debt, it’s typically a cause for celebration. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Debt retirement celebrations should be more of a celebration of God’s provision than debt retirement. When debt is eliminated in a church, funds available for ministr...more

  • Should Pastors Announce Their Upcoming Vacation? – Rainer on Leadership #559

    Aug 02 2019

    Podcast Episode #559 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Pastoral vacations can lead to some disagreements between church members—mainly on whether or not the church should know it’s coming. Today we discuss both sides of the issue. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When church members know that a pastor is out of town and won’t be preaching, attendance usually drops. When a pastor is on vacation, leaders and members should step...more

  • Six Ways a Church Failed the Guest Friendliness Test – Rainer on Leadership #558

    Jul 30 2019

    Podcast Episode #558 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Every church thinks they’re a guest friendly church. But as we discuss today, guest friendliness is not something at which every church excels. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church signs need info on them, but there are really just three essentials: church name, worship times, website address. If your church has a digital sign, you have to consider the length of the ro...more

  • Six Reasons a Healthy Culture Is Imperative for Inviting Others to Church – Rainer on Leadership #557

    Jul 26 2019

    Podcast Episode #557 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Church culture is important to the outreach of a church, and subsequently, how much members will invite others. Today we discuss how inviting can create and improve the church culture. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church culture is important because it is to be a reflection of the gospel in a local church. If you provide invitation cards to church members, they are mo...more

  • Six Ways Toxic Members Deter Invitations to Church – Rainer on Leadership #556

    Jul 23 2019

    Podcast Episode #556 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify When toxic members are present in a church, resources are spent on overcoming the fallout of toxic members. As a result, members are less likely to invite others to church. Today, we explain six reasons why. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Personal invitations to church are a great beginning point to get your church moving toward an outward focus. New members and guests ...more

  • Why the Pendulum on Church Metrics May Be Swinging Too Far – Rainer on Leadership #555

    Jul 19 2019

    Podcast Episode #555 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify There is a pendulum swing in church leadership circles as it relates to the viewpoint of church metrics. Numbers and tracking numbers aren’t inherently bad, but they can be abused. Today, we discuss this swing and the negative sentiments often associated with it. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If numbers are all you care about at your church, you may end up compromising...more

  • Seven Reasons Why More Churches Are Calling on Interventionists – Rainer on Leadership #554

    Jul 16 2019

    Podcast Episode #554 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Churches who want to become healthier often need outside eyes and a fresh perspective. Today, we discuss how consultants (interventionists) can help. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Interventions need to come earlier rather than later because it’s often too late if you wait. Church consultants aren’t just for dying churches. The number one reason churches bring in a cons...more

  • Seven Thoughts on Pastoral Attire in Worship Services – Rainer on Leadership #553

    Jul 12 2019

    Podcast Episode #553 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Pastoral attire has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Today, we examine why that has happened and how to adapt to this change. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When preaching in a new or unfamiliar place, be sure to ask about the expected attire. Bow ties have replaced regular ties as the hot fashion for dress attire. But bow ties aren’t for everyone. Someti...more

  • Six Common Mistakes Made by Preachers from the Pulpit (That Might Get Them in Trouble) – Rainer on Leadership #552

    Jul 09 2019

    Podcast Episode #552 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Preachers sometimes say some strange things from the pulpit. Today, we discuss some of the things that get said that can cause problems for a preacher. Some highlights from today’s episode include: One of the most common mistakes preachers often make is attributing a quote to someone who didn’t actually say it. If you’re going to use stats in a sermon, research and cite the original s...more

  • 10 Responses from Fired Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #551

    Jul 05 2019

    Podcast Episode #551 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Almost every pastor has had to deal with being fired—often for little to no reason. Today, we discuss a recent post on the topic and explain it further. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Too many pastors are fired without being told why. Often, pastors who are forced out for little to no reason look back on the situation and wish they had fought it a bit more. Sometimes th...more

  • Six Reactions to the Increase of Declining Church Stats – Rainer on Leadership #550

    Jul 02 2019

    Podcast Episode #550 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify The pace of decline for many churches is accelerating. The stats are quite alarming. Today, we cover a recent post on the topic. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Corporate prayer in many churches is often more perfunctory than fervent. If your church is anchored to traditions of the past, it won’t move forward into the future. Church fights are signs of inward focus. Chur...more

  • Seven Ways Healthy Church Members Pray for Their Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #549

    Jun 28 2019

    Podcast Episode #549 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Church members who are unifying are church members who pray for their church. Today, we discuss seven areas that you can pray for your pastor and church staff. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The number one way you can help your pastor and church staff is by praying for them. Imagine if people spent as much time praying for the pastor’s sermon as they did critiquing it. ...more

  • Seven Ways to Be a Unifying Church Member – Rainer on Leadership #548

    Jun 25 2019

    Podcast Episode #548 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Church members who are determined to be unifying can change the entire ethos of a church, and a church with unifying church members is a blessing to a pastor. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Be intentional about prayer and about what you’re praying for. Words of encouragement for your pastor really mean a lot because pastors hear more criticism than you can imagine. Givi...more

  • Eight Updates on Sunday Evening Services – Rainer on Leadership #547

    Jun 21 2019

    Podcast Episode #547 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We’ve discussed Sunday evening services before on the blog and podcast, but things haven’t changed much in local churches. The services are still declining on the whole. Today, we update you as to why that is. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The number of churches offering Sunday evening services is still declining and the number of people coming is still declining. Chur...more

  • Seven Updated Strategies for the Pastor’s First 90 Days – Rainer on Leadership #546

    Jun 18 2019

    Podcast Episode #546 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify The first 90 days of a pastor’s tenure can set the tone for the future of ministry. Today, we update our discussion on the topic with some new insights. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Meetings and meals in your first 90 days are for the purpose of getting to know people and building relationships. Leadership is about relationships. Low-hanging fruit allows you to build ...more

  • Six Reasons Why Churches Should Not Abandon the Boomer Generation – Rainer on Leadership #545

    Jun 14 2019

    Podcast Episode #545 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify The Baby Boomer generation, one of America’s largest generations, has shaped our churches for the past 75 years. Today, we discuss how to better reach them as they entire retirement. Some highlights from today’s episode include: For the most part, the Boomers brought the low-expectation church into vogue. The Boomer generation has remained static numerically because Boomer immigration...more

  • Five Intriguing Updates on Gen Z and Churches – Rainer on Leadership #544

    Jun 11 2019

    Podcast Episode #544 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify America’s next generation, Gen Z, is starting to influence and shape the church. Today, we look at five specific characteristics of this generation and how they are influencing the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When you talk about generations, you have to use generalizations. The best time to reach Gen Z with the gospel is now. If your church is not involved in...more

  • Six Unique Additions Some Churches Have Made to Their Worship Services – Rainer on Leadership #543

    Jun 07 2019

    Podcast Episode #543 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Corporate worship is stale in many churches. These six additions can help re-engage your members during corporate worship and spur them to further ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: For a church to be a praying church, you have to be very intentional about how you lead the church to pray during corporate worship. Use your offertory time to give an example of how t...more

  • Six Cultural Pastoral Issues Where Pastors Often Struggle – Rainer on Leadership #542

    Jun 04 2019

    Podcast Episode #542 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Pastors are faced with different ethical and moral issues in society on an almost daily basis. Today we highlight six major cultural issues facing pastors and churches today. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pastors are getting more questions about sexuality and gender than ever before. The opioid crisis is affecting churches across the nation. No church is immune to the ...more

  • 10 Main Reasons People Leave the Church – Rainer on Leadership #541

    May 31 2019

    Podcast Episode #541 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Churches lose members and attendees for a variety of reasons. Some good. Many not. Today, we review a recent blog post on the most common reasons people leave the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The local church is important. Christians should consistently gather for corporate worship. We can’t write off the fact that many have been hurt by the church. Church mem...more

  • Update on the Early Launches of Pray and Go – Rainer on Leadership #540

    May 28 2019

    Podcast Episode #540 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify When Pray and Go launched earlier this year, we were excited about the potential it had for creating an outward focus in churches. The early reports are strong indicators that this is happening in churches across the country. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pray and Go offers an easy on-ramp for churches who are looking to be outward focused in a prayerful way. It’s one ...more

  • Five Ways to Lead Your Groups to Become Outwardly Focused – Rainer on Leadership #539

    May 24 2019

    Podcast Episode #539 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Groups are one of the most important factors in getting people to stick with a church. The community that is built in groups helps your church members become more well-rounded disciples. Today, we discuss five ways to make your groups more outwardly focused. Some highlights from today’s episode include: I don’t understand why churches don’t invest more time and resources into the heal...more

  • Facility Crises and How Churches Are Responding – Rainer on Leadership #538

    May 21 2019

    Podcast Episode #538 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Almost every church has some kind of facility issue. From being too big or not big enough, facilities rarely match the pace of a church’s growth or decline. Today, we discuss these facility changes and the needs found in many churches across America. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You can only lead effectively in the direction in which people are willing to follow. Defe...more

  • New Patterns in Ministry Training – Rainer on Leadership #537

    May 17 2019

    Podcast Episode #537 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify How ministers are trained has radically changed over the past few decades thanks mainly to the rise of digital training. Today, we discuss these changes and where they might be headed. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The pace of change in the church is faster than it’s ever been. Online degrees are great for convenience, but you typically don’t build the relationships wi...more

  • Hiring Several Part-time Staff Rather Than One Full-time Staffer – Rainer on Leadership #536

    May 14 2019

    Podcast Episode #536 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify The way churches hire staff is changing. Today we begin a three-part series on emerging trends in the church with a discussion on church staffing. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When you have a staff opening in the church, always evaluate the role and the needs of the church before making a hire for that same position. Things may need to change. Always give clarity to a...more

  • What Pastors Need to Do When They Are Deeply Hurt – Rainer on Leadership #535

    May 10 2019

    Podcast Episode #535 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Pastors often are hurt by church members or church circumstances. Today we discuss how to deal with this hurt and why you shouldn’t just throw in the towel at the first sign of hurt. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The main reason pastors get hurt in the church is from personal attacks by members. When you’re feeling hurt, time in the Word and in prayer can really help. ...more

  • Seven Key Ways to Alleviate the Pain of Low Attendance Days – Rainer on Leadership #534

    May 07 2019

    Podcast Episode #534 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Low attendance days happen in the life of every church. While they are often unavoidable, you can potentially improve them and make them fewer and farther between. Some highlights from today’s episode include: In your new members class, you need to address the importance of regular worship attendance. Unexpected low attendance days can be frustrating for church leaders. Churches might...more

  • Reaching the Nominally Churched – Rainer on Leadership #533

    May 03 2019

    Podcast Episode #533 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify After discussing who the nominally churched are in the last episode, today we focus on how to reach them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: It’s hard to know how often people truly connect with a church if they aren’t in a group. There’s a real need to reach the nominally churched because many of them need to be evangelized. Group involvement creates personal relationships...more

  • Understanding the Nominally Churched – Rainer on Leadership #532

    Apr 30 2019

    Podcast Episode #532 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify To reach the nominally churched and to get them more involved in church, you must first understand them. Today we discuss who the nominally churched are before we discuss how to reach them in the next episode. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The early college years is one of the most common times people drop out of church for a season. Family connections can be a clear d...more

  • Six Common Reasons Pastors Lose Their Temper – Rainer on Leadership #531

    Apr 26 2019

    Podcast Episode #531 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify With the criticisms pastors get, it can be easy to have a quick temper. Today, we discuss reasons for losing your temper so that pastors may recognize them and better deal with them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Losing your temper as a pastor never results in something good. You should defend your family if they’re attacked, but you have to do it while controlling you...more

  • Does Co-Pastoring Really Work? – Rainer on Leadership #530

    Apr 23 2019

    Podcast Episode #530 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Co-pastoring is rare but is also seen in some churches in different forms. Today we discuss the pros and cons of co-pastoring and some paths forward for the practice. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Even with a plurality of elders, there typically ends up being a singular leader and not co-pastors. Shared leadership often means shared responsibility. Competing egos can o...more

  • Seven Symptoms of a Dying Church – Rainer on Leadership #529

    Apr 19 2019

    Podcast Episode #529 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Dying churches often exhibit symptoms of dying along the way. Today we cover seven of these symptoms and how to combat them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When a church is in “fight mode, it is inwardly focused and likely not reaching people for Christ. Meetings always seem to fill the time slot you give for them. Don’t give them more time than is actually needed to co...more

  • Seven Church Member Attitudes That Lead to the Death of Churches – Rainer on Leadership #528

    Apr 16 2019

    Podcast Episode #528 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Autopsy of a Deceased Church highlighted 12 reasons churches die. This week, we are looking back at what we’ve learned in the five years since it was published and highlighting a new related video resource. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Corporate worship should be a priority and not just one activity option among many for church members on the weekend. A self-centered ...more

  • Why Giving Goes Down When Attendance Goes Up – Rainer on Leadership #527

    Apr 12 2019

    Podcast Episode #527 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify It sounds paradoxical, but some churches will see overall growth in attendance while their giving decreases. How is this possible? Today we explain. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Giving typically mimics the flow of church attendance, but you shouldn’t be alarmed in the short term if the two are asynchronous. It takes time for new Christians to understand and practice t...more

  • Six Risks I Took As a Pastor (Including Some That Failed Miserably) – Rainer on Leadership #526

    Apr 09 2019

    Podcast Episode #526 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Taking risks is part of leadership. Today we discuss a few risks taken during my ministry and how some worked and how some didn’t. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Even if an idea is good, if it’s an unfamiliar idea to a church it may not gain support because “we’ve never done it that way before.” When the newness of something wears off, the challenge of “making it work” ...more

  • Nine Thoughts on Church Splits – Rainer on Leadership #525

    Apr 05 2019

    Podcast Episode #525 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Church splits aren’t quite as prominent as they used to be, but they can still be a problem for some churches. Today, we discuss nine reasons for them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches that split are more likely to die than those who don’t because of the negativity that comes along with the split. If someone has been part of several church splits, it’s likely the...more

  • When to Discontinue a Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #524

    Apr 02 2019

    Podcast Episode #524 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Churches and church leaders often struggle to know when to discontinue a ministry or to pivot to something else. Today, we discuss how to process the decision to discontinue a ministry in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The culture of a church shifts when you don’t have an outward focus. Sometimes things in a church would actually be better if a certain mini...more

  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective Preachers – Rainer on Leadership #523

    Mar 29 2019

    Podcast Episode #523 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify There are often certain characteristics found in pastors who are effective preachers. Today, we discuss seven of those characteristics. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Effective preachers understand that prayer is integral to sermon preparation. More and more pastors are doing sermon prep outside of the church office as to avoid distractions. If you want to improve your ...more

  • Eight Church Fights That Are Fading – Rainer on Leadership #522

    Mar 26 2019

    Podcast Episode #522 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Some church fights actually are fading. Today we discuss those and the reasons why they are fading. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Most church fights today involve music or other aspects of the worship service. Nearly every time you open a new avenue for giving in the church, giving increases. Fewer and fewer pastors are wearing ties to preach in on Sundays. Fights over...more

  • Four Thoughts on Ordination – Rainer on Leadership #521

    Mar 22 2019

    Podcast Episode #521 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify The practice of ordination has come under scrutiny recently, so we took the time in this episode to discuss its importance and the need to be thorough in the process of ordaining ministers. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches should be highly thoughtful when they consider ordaining a person to gospel ministry. Background checks should be normative in the ordination ...more

  • Understanding the Differences between Open Groups and Closed Groups (and the Benefits of Both) – Rainer on Leadership #520

    Mar 19 2019

    Podcast Episode #520 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Groups are important to discipleship in the church. Today we discuss why both open and closed groups are needed and how they can benefit your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: As they grow larger in worship, churches should also be growing smaller in groups. Small groups have to be flexible as the church grows. Closed groups are great for deeper study of a topic in...more

  • Top Seven Major Facility Mistakes of the Past 20 Years – Rainer on Leadership #519

    Mar 15 2019

    Podcast Episode #519 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Churches can sometimes make unwise decisions when it comes to building facilities. Today we cover seven of them and how to avoid them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If your church is running short on worship space, consider adding another service before adding millions of dollars of debt. Churches should plan on maintenance because deferred maintenance will alway cost ...more

  • Seven Ways Churches Make Prayer Central to Their Worship Services – Rainer on Leadership #518

    Mar 12 2019

    Podcast Episode #518 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We constantly hear from pastors wanting to see prayer increase in their churches. The secret to becoming a praying church is to…pray. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There is a great desire to pray more in churches, but a lack of consistent application in corporate worship settings. Anything you want to increase in your church will take intentionality. Prayer is visible ...more

  • Five Incredible Tools for Better Stewardship – Rainer on Leadership #517

    Mar 08 2019

    Podcast Episode #517 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Stewardship is important for churches, and to increase stewardship, you have to be intentional about it and you have to resource it well. Today, we discuss some of the best stewardship resources we know of in response to listener questions. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The power of the personal recommendation helps when it comes to knowing what resources to use in the...more

  • Five Findings about Gen Z That Will Impact Churches – Rainer on Leadership #516

    Mar 05 2019

    Podcast Episode #516 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify The oldest members of Gen Z are just entering college and the work force. Today, we discuss a recent Wall Street Journal article on Gen Z and the generation’s implications on the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Instagram is generally the social media network of choice for Millennials and Gen Z. Gen Z gets its news from social media, not from traditional media. Th...more

  • Five Highly Effective Ways to Enhance Corporate Prayer in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #515

    Mar 01 2019

    Podcast Episode #515 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Corporate prayer is instrumental in shaping the DNA of a church. A praying church is often one who realizes that they are fully dependent on God’s power. Today, we discuss five ways you can increase the power and frequency of prayer in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Responsive readings and corporate guided prayer have declined in popularity in worship servi...more

  • Six Issues Regarding Mega Vacancies in Megachurches – Rainer on Leadership #514

    Feb 26 2019

    Podcast Episode #514 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify More people often means more problems. And that is the case with megachurches when it comes to finding pastors. Today we discuss some of the reasons for this struggle. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Many people have negative stereotypes of megachurches, and many are simply unfair and wrong. The concept of ladder climbing and quickly bouncing from church to church is for...more

  • Six Different But Important Questions Pastors Are Asking – Rainer on Leadership #513

    Feb 22 2019

    Podcast Episode #513 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We get a lot of questions through Church Answers and at the blog. Today, we take time to answer some of the unique ones we receive. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If you’re not intentional about being outwardly focused, a small group can easily become a small clique. Technology provides churches opportunities to reach and disciple people in ways that were previously not...more

  • Five Micro-Strategies for Growing Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #512

    Feb 19 2019

    Podcast Episode #512 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Growth in a church doesn’t have to be the result of a large strategy. Today we discuss how a few small things can lead to big growth. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Many pastors and church leaders try to start too much in their church. Too many local community ministries don’t have a clear outreach component that connects people to a church service. Outreach to local ad...more

  • The Most Frequent Issues Facing Pastors and Other Church Leaders – Rainer on Leadership #511

    Feb 15 2019

    Podcast Episode #511 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We are asked for insights into different areas of church life on a consistent basis. Today, we cover the seven most frequent issues pastors come to us with. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When church leaders are looking for a resources they mostly want to know what is best, not just what is available. You can’t microwave leadership development. Church revitalization has...more

  • Seven Ways to Stay Encouraged in Pastoral Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #510

    Feb 12 2019

    Podcast Episode #510 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Ministry can be disheartening at times. Today, we discuss how you can stay encouraged in ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Encouragement is often elusive for pastors. People who encourage you are a gift. When we think of others before ourselves, we often find encouragement in seeing how God is moving in the lives of others. The more time you spend around encourag...more

  • Five Reasons Your Church Should Have a Virtual Facility Assessment Immediately – Rainer on Leadership #509

    Feb 08 2019

    Podcast Episode #509 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Church facilities can cost churches more than they ever imagined. Without continuous assessments and upkeep, facilities can eat up funds that would be best used for ministry. Today, we feature a resource that can help. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The majority of churches in need of a facility assessment don’t realize their need for it. By lowering your church facilit...more

  • Six Major Areas Where Pastors Want to Reset Their Ministries – Rainer on Leadership #508

    Feb 05 2019

    Podcast Episode #508 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Ministry routines and rhythms can get out of balance at times. Today we discuss what areas are commonly most in need of a reset for pastors. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When you get busy as a pastor, one of the first areas that gets neglected is outward focus. Don’t let the tyranny of the urgent compromise your fulfillment of the Great Commission. Whatever time you a...more

  • What Former Pastors Don’t Miss about Pastoring – Rainer on Leadership #507

    Feb 01 2019

    Podcast Episode #507 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify In episode 506, we discussed things former pastors missed from their time as a pastor. Today, we look at the other side of the coin and discuss things pastors don’t miss. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Trying to meet unrealistic expectations placed on you as a pastor is a pathway to burnout. Evaluate your weekly meetings. Many of them could be shortened or even eliminat...more

  • What Former Pastors Miss Most about Pastoring – Rainer on Leadership #506

    Jan 29 2019

    Podcast Episode #506 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify When pastors leave the pastorate, they inevitably miss certain things about pastoring. Today, we discuss the five we hear most frequently. Some highlights from today’s episode include: As a pastor, there is a certain fulfillment in preaching to the same people week after week. If you’re going to be a part of a local church, give it your all. When you pastor a local church, you are a s...more

  • Reconsidering Worship Service Alternatives Beyond Sunday Morning – Rainer on Leadership #505

    Jan 25 2019

    Podcast Episode #505 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We are starting to see more and more churches offer alternative worship service times. Today we discuss the when, where, and how of this trend. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Sunday has become less and less sacred in our culture. To many, it’s just another day of the week with no significance. Duplicating your Sunday morning service on Sunday evening is often the easies...more

  • Understanding the Internet Church as a Entry Point to the Physical Gathering – Rainer on Leadership #504

    Jan 22 2019

    Podcast Episode #504 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify The term “internet church” brings a mix of emotions and reactions from church leaders, but if your church is online, there are a few best practices to cover. Today, we discuss eight of them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Even if your church live-streams services, the physical gathering should be emphasized and be the priority. Point to groups in your preaching to get p...more

  • Why Your Church Attendance May Vary 25% Each Week – Rainer on Leadership #503

    Jan 18 2019

    Podcast Episode #503 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Worship attendance swings can be dramatic in local churches. Today we discuss why that is and how to combat it. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Your church attendance pattern is more of a factor of what your church members are doing than an effect of cultural Christianity. Churches with on-campus groups often have smaller attendance variances than those with off-campus o...more

  • Why Tracking Church Attendance Is Important – Rainer on Leadership #502

    Jan 15 2019

    Podcast Episode #502 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Numbers are important, but they aren’t ultimate in the church. Today, we discuss why you should be counting and how, but we also discuss how to avoid making numbers your focus. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There is no reason to have an aversion to numbers as a church leader. Tracking numbers is a stewardship and accountability issue. You need a consistent method for c...more

  • How to Deal with the Constant Critic in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #501

    Jan 11 2019

    Podcast Episode #501 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Critics are real in the church. And for many pastors, they are incessant. Today, we discuss how to deal with the constant critic in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Praying for a critic not only can change a critic’s heart, but can change your heart toward the critic. Our goal in resolving conflict should be reconciliation and restoration, not revenge and ret...more

  • Why Many Churches Will Quadruple Their Outreach Efforts This Year – Rainer on Leadership #500

    Jan 08 2019

    Podcast Episode #500 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We celebrate episode 500 with donuts and a discussion on why churches are really cranking up their intentional outreach this year. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Easy church growth due to reaching cultural Christians is no longer viable for churches. Churches have moved away from programmatic outreach and evangelism but are still looking to and relying on tools to help ...more

  • What Pastors Need to Do When They Are Deeply Hurt – Rainer on Leadership #499

    Jan 04 2019

    Podcast Episode #499 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Church members and ministry circumstances can hurt pastors. It will happen, and pastors need a response plan. Today, we discuss how to handle being hurt in ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: It’s not if a pastor will be hurt by a church member, but when. It’s important to pray for those who criticize or hurt you as a pastor. It helps you deal with the situation be...more

  • 10 Reasons for Optimism in 2019 – Rainer on Leadership #498

    Jan 01 2019

    Podcast Episode #498 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We kick off 2019 with 10 reasons we are optimistic about churches. From an openness to consulting to church revitalization, we are seeing God move in churches in fresh ways. Some highlights from today’s episode include: One of the worst postures a church leader can have is one of denial. If a church is focused on evangelism and outreach, revitalization will likely result. Church confl...more

  • Seven Keys to Protecting Your Ministry During Your Building Program – Rainer on Leadership #497

    Dec 28 2018

    Podcast Episode #497 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Tim Songster of Cosco & Associates joins us to discuss his new book on healthy church design and how churches can best navigate through a building program. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Any problem that exists in a church is often magnified when a church enters a building program. Successful, sustained change will not take place in a church without prayer. Before d...more

  • The Six Most Common Regrets of Pastors and How to Overcome Them – Rainer on Leadership #496

    Dec 25 2018

    Podcast Episode #496 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify On this Christmas day, we discuss some common regrets by pastors as well as how to avoid and overcome them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Years 5-7 are often the most fruitful of a pastor’s tenure. Your family should be your first line of ministry. Moving from one church to another often means similar problems with different people. The six regrets we discuss are: “I...more

  • How to Move Forward When the Pastor and the Staff Member Are Not Aligned – Rainer on Leadership #495

    Dec 21 2018

    Podcast Episode #495 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Alignment is essential if you want a healthy church staff. Today we discuss how to improve the alignment of both your staff and your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Ministries need to be aligned with the vision and mission of the church. The onus of responsibility in communication resides with the leader. It is amazing to me how many leaders kick the can on diffi...more

  • Five Ways Churches Are Unintentionally Forcing Pastors Out – Rainer on Leadership #494

    Dec 18 2018

    Podcast Episode #494 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We’v found that many pastors are forced out unknowingly by churches. Today, we cover five ways your church may unknowingly be pushing your pastor away. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The rare exceptions make headlines, but pastors are not in ministry for the money. Even in “good churches” pastors hear more than a little criticism. When complimenting your pastor, be as s...more

  • Five Incredible Tools for Better Stewardship in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #493

    Dec 14 2018

    Podcast Episode #493 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Not a week goes by without me being asked to recommend a resource for some aspect of stewardship in the church. Today, we cover five of the ones we recommend the most. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When dealing with outside consultants in the church, always get references from other churches. Do your homework and don’t get scammed. When you introduce a new form of givi...more

  • 6 Reasons Many Church Leaders Stop Leading Outwardly – Rainer on Leadership #492

    Dec 11 2018

    Podcast Episode #492 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Inward focus is natural for churches. It takes intentional effort and supernatural power to overcome this inward focus. Today, we discuss six reasons why it is so difficult to overcome. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There are times in every leader’s life when they get comfortable and don’t move forward. It happens, but you must keep pushing. Churches have to be outward...more

  • Five Types of Interventions for Churches Needing Revitalization – Rainer on Leadership #491

    Dec 07 2018

    Podcast Episode #491 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Interventions can meet a great need in churches—and many churches need them. Today we discuss five types of interventions, and I tell the story of my strangest church consultation moment. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Online coaching has the potential to help pastors and churches in a way we’ve never seen before. One of the greatest encouragements to pastors is them kn...more

  • Primary Factors That Led to a Pastor’s Call to Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #490

    Dec 04 2018

    Podcast Episode #490 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify A call to ministry is intensely personal, but for many pastors the call shares a few common themes. Today, we discuss six of those themes. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Those in ministry often (and almost always) feel called to make a difference. A passion to reach the community is being realized by revitalization pastors and church planters. The primary call to pastor...more

  • Five Common Ways Pastors Overcome Sermon Blocks – Rainer on Leadership #489

    Nov 30 2018

    Podcast Episode #489 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Sunday comes every week for a pastor. And that means a sermon needed nearly every week. Today, we discuss how to combat sermon block if and when that happens. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The more you can plan ahead with sermon prep, the less likely you are to fight sermon block the week of the sermon. Both church members and staff can be sources for sermon pointers. ...more

  • Trends in the Number of Weekends a Pastor Preaches Each Year – Rainer on Leadership #488

    Nov 27 2018

    Podcast Episode #488 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Preaching trends are changing in churches. Today, we look at why many preachers are preaching less every year and why that’s a good thing. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Not only are pastors preaching fewer weeks per year, but they’re preaching fewer times per week as well. Having a plurality of preachers in a church allows you the opportunity to raise up more people fo...more

  • Why Is the Music So Loud in My Worship Service? – Rainer on Leadership #487

    Nov 23 2018

    Podcast Episode #487 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Mike Harland joins us to answer one of the biggest questions in church worship services today: why is it so loud? Some highlights from today’s episode include: The loudness of church music creates an engagement issue for those in the pew. One easy fix to the loudness of church music is to vary the accompaniment from song to song or even in the songs. Identify what technology really ma...more

  • Six Surprising Time Drainers of Church Leaders – Rainer on Leadership #486

    Nov 20 2018

    Podcast Episode #486 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Like us all, pastors and church leaders only have a certain amount of time in their week. So it’s important to know what can lead to time drain during the week. Today, we discuss six such items. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Social media can be used for good but it can really eat up your time if you let it. Being well rested helps you be more productive when you’re awa...more

  • Why Pastors’ Honeymoons are Getting Shorter – Rainer on Leadership #485

    Nov 16 2018

    Podcast Episode #485 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Honeymoons always end. There are some things that can be done by a new pastor to extend them, but there are definitely some other things that can be done to cut them short. Today we discuss why many are being cut shorter these days. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The expectation of a quick fix can be detrimental to a church’s health. A lot of churches who die have money...more

  • Seven Reasons the 10+ Year Pastorate Is Becoming More Common – Rainer on Leadership #484

    Nov 13 2018

    Podcast Episode #484 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Data shows pastoral tenure is increasing. Today we examine why more pastorates are reaching double digit tenure. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Bigger isn’t always better. It’s usually the same problems just with more people. There seems to be less of a desire for ladder climbing from Millennial pastors than from previous generations of pastors. God works in both the bi...more

  • Six Social Media Posts Church Leaders Should Avoid – Rainer on Leadership #483

    Nov 09 2018

    Podcast Episode #483 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Social media can be great for expressing yourself, getting news, meeting new friends, and living out your faith. The problem comes when we post something not so smart. Today we cover six areas to avoid on social media. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We have to remember that the world is watching when we share something on social media. If you post something online, you ...more

  • Should the Pastor Have Visibility to Members’ Giving? – Rainer on Leadership #482

    Nov 06 2018

    Podcast Episode #482 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Groups that get donations usually have visibility of who gives what. But what about a church? Should a pastor know who is giving and how much? Today, we discuss. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Changes in a church member’s giving patters often indicate changes in a church member’s life. There is a myth that older church members are the biggest givers. That’s often not tr...more

  • Six Ways to Minister after a Miscarriage – Rainer on Leadership #481

    Nov 02 2018

    Podcast Episode #481 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Miscarriage is a difficult live event for those going through it. It’s often not handled well by ministers, either. Today we discuss how to better handle these events in life and ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You cannot “fix” someone after a miscarriage. Don’t try to. Pastor, you can’t fix everything in your church. You’ve got to realize that’s unrealistic. W...more

  • Ten Goofy Criticisms of Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #480

    Oct 30 2018

    Podcast Episode #480 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We asked our members at Church Answers for the wildest criticisms they had ever received. The answers did not disappoint. Some highlights from today’s episode include: I still remember criticisms from 25 years ago. They stick with a pastor. Often times, criticisms of a pastor have less to do with what a pastor does and more to do with not doing things that a previous pastor did. Many ...more

  • Five Major “What If” We Regrets We Are Hearing from Churches – Rainer on Leadership #479

    Oct 26 2018

    Podcast Episode #479 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Regret often comes when it’s too late to change things in a church. Today, we discuss five of the most common regrets we hear from churches. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Sometimes, churches need to relocate for good reasons but wait too long to do so and miss the opportunity. Too often, churches ask meaningful questions about their health when it’s too late. The right...more

  • Altar Calls, the Perfect Pastoral Work Week, and Other Listener Questions – Rainer on Leadership #478

    Oct 23 2018

    Podcast Episode #478 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We get a lot of questions here at Rainer on Leadership. Today, we take some time to talk about vacations with church members, altar calls, and the perfect pastoral work week. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You shouldn’t accept gifts from church members if it creates a quid pro quo situation. Pastor search committees often overstate the opportunity and the willingness of...more

  • The Six Characteristics of a Scrappy Church – Rainer on Leadership #477

    Oct 19 2018

    Podcast Episode #477 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify My latest book, Scrappy Church, was written to offer hope to churches who think they may not have a future. God is not done with your church yet. Some highlights from today’s episode include: God has put you at your church for a reason. If a church refuses to define reality and change, it will likely not fulfill its Kingdom potential. Churches shouldn’t see their community or their re...more

  • Seven Traits of a Healthy Church – Rainer on Leadership #476

    Oct 16 2018

    Podcast Episode #476 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We need healthy churches. I’ve committed my ministry to helping churches grow healthier. But what does a healthy church look like? Today, we discuss seven traits they exhibit. Some highlights from today’s episode include: For too many churches, believing in the power of the gospel is nothing more than lip service. Courageous leaders believe God will work in their churches. Too many le...more

  • Should a Church Pursue Legacy Giving? – Rainer on Leadership #475

    Oct 12 2018

    Podcast Episode #475 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Legacy giving, or inherited funds, is something that churches often do not pursue. Today we discuss why that’s often a mistake and how to do so. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There is a fear in churches that members will give less if they know about large amounts of endowment money sitting in the bank. Most pastors don’t think of fundraising for the church as part of t...more

  • Sacred Cows to Be Aware of in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #474

    Oct 09 2018

    Podcast Episode #474 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify We recently ran a Twitter poll to find out the most dealt with sacred cows in churches. The responses were both hilarious and worrisome. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Sacred cows are often sacred not simply because of their usefulness, but because of their tradition. The offertory is often the biggest sacred cow in the order of worship. The offertory is not a distracti...more

  • Seven Reasons Why Writing Handwritten Notes Will Revolutionize Your Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #473

    Oct 05 2018

    Podcast Episode #473 SUBSCRIBE:iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio • Spotify Handwritten notes are a lost art for many. Today, we discuss why they are so important and how you can use them to boost encouragement in your church and ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Cultivating a habit of writing handwritten notes will increase your spirit of gratitude. Writing handwritten notes takes your focus off the negativity in ministry and places it ...more

  • Six Reasons Why Churches Continue to Get Immature Christians in Leadership Positions – Rainer on Leadership #472

    Oct 02 2018

    Podcast Episode #472 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Leadership in the church tends to fall to those who are either the loudest or who want it the most instead of who is spiritually mature enough to handle it. Today we explore why this happens and how to avoid it. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We see many people in leadership in the church not because they are mature Christians, but because they make the most noise. Don’t reward ...more

  • Why I’m Starting Revitalize Network – Rainer on Leadership #471

    Sep 28 2018

    Podcast Episode #471 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio I recently announced the launch of Revitalize Network—a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on helping churches revitalize. Today, we discuss the details of the network and how you can join us. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Many churches need revitalization but don’t know where to start. Revitalize Network is a place where churches can come together to help one another become ...more

  • A Look Back at My Time at LifeWay – Rainer on Leadership #470

    Sep 25 2018

    Podcast Episode #470 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio With my upcoming retirement from LifeWay, we take time to look back on my 13 years as president. We discuss the challenges, the wins, the fun times, and the walk on the beach that changed the course of LifeWay forever. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Even though I became president of LifeWay in 2005, because of the Great Recession, it didn’t feel like I got started until 2010. Th...more

  • Five Types of Infrequent Attendees – Rainer on Leadership #469

    Sep 21 2018

    Podcast Episode #469 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Declining attendance isn’t as much of an issue in churches as declining frequency of attendance. Today we discuss those who miss frequently and how to solve that. Some highlights from today’s episode include: For the Christian, corporate worship should not be considered optional. Too often, people miss church for reasons that would not keep them from missing work or a recreational event. Don’t...more

  • Five Key Reasons Churches Become More Unified – Rainer on Leadership #468

    Sep 18 2018

    Podcast Episode #468 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Church unity is an issue in many churches. Fighting, gossip, and bullying can really play havoc on unity. Today, we discuss why and how churches can become more unified. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Jesus wanted churches to be unified (John 17), but not many churches want unity. The more outward-focused a church is, the less self-centered they will be. The most important facto...more

  • How to Say No to Church Members – Rainer on Leadership #467

    Sep 14 2018

    Podcast Episode #467 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors often fall into the trap of being people pleasers. Today, we discuss why and how you can say no to requests or even demands from church members. Some highlights from today’s episode include: One of the most freeing things a leader can do is to accept that you will not be loved by everyone. Pastors, make sure your first line of ministry is your family. Pastor, you can’t say yes to every...more

  • Why Staff Issues Are Among the Most Painful Church Issues – Rainer on Leadership #466

    Sep 11 2018

    Podcast Episode #466 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Church staffing can be tricky in today’s churches. On this episode we discuss reasons church staffing issues can hurt a church and how to deal with them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Bad hiring is endemic in churches, and we end up with staff conflict as a result. People who work in the church often gravitate to two extremes: being a workaholic or being a lazy bum. Most church...more

  • Why Poor Discipleship Is Such a Big Issue in Many Churches – Rainer on Leadership #465

    Sep 07 2018

    Podcast Episode #465 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Discipleship is something churches say they do, but also something they don’t always really understand. Today we explain why. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Too many church leaders either don’t under stand discipleship or don’t understand how to make it effective in the local church. How we do discipleship is often more confusing that what we do for discipleship. Discipleship is...more

  • Your Church Has Been Offered a Facility…Now What? – Rainer on Leadership #464

    Sep 04 2018

    Podcast Episode #464 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Tim Cool joins us to discuss facility management and why a free building could be the most expensive building your church has. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Total annual operational costs of your church building should run between $5.50-$7.00 per square foot. Does your church facility speak the same language that your church culture speaks? Never accept a free facility without ...more

  • What to Do If You Desire Excellence in the Church, but You Are Not Seeing It – Rainer on Leadership #463

    Aug 31 2018

    Podcast Episode #463 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Many churches aspire to excellence, but unfortunately many of them miss the mark. Today we discuss how to excel in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Most frustrations for pastors and church staff are the result of minor issues. Know your own personality and what might trigger your frustration. The most expensive hire you will ever make is hiring the wrong person. Fruit...more

  • Eight Ways Church Members Can Help Pastors Avoid Burnout — Rainer on Leadership #462

    Aug 28 2018

    Podcast Episode #462 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Burnout is a real issue for many, and pastors are not exempt. Today we discuss how church members can help their pastor avoid it. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There are times that need ministry on a 24/7 basis. But there should also be times when that’s not the case. More often than not pastors either don’t know how to take time off or just don’t take time off. One of the bigg...more

  • Why Some Interim Pastorates Are Successful When Others Are Not – Rainer on Leadership #461

    Aug 24 2018

    Podcast Episode #461 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastoral transition happens all the time. Today we discuss what makes for a successful interim pastorate and how InterimPastor.University can help. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Interim pastors need to help give a church hope. No one person is indispensable to a church or organization. Not providing clear updates to the church about a pastor search can be demoralizing to the co...more

  • Five Major Ways to Improve Your Worship Services – Rainer on Leadership #460

    Aug 21 2018

    Podcast Episode #460 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio There are several things you can do in worship services to improve the experience for guests and members. Today we discuss five such things—four of which cost nothing. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Poorly done announcements can really derail a worship service. Video announcements can help eliminate that risk. The most strategic place to have a greeter is in the worship center t...more

  • Why People Don’t Invite Others to Church – Rainer on Leadership #459

    Aug 17 2018

    Podcast Episode #459 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio A recent LifeWay Research study reported on the invite habits of American churchgoers. Today, we examine the results and discuss how to correct the problems. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Nearly two-thirds of Protestant churchgoers have invited someone to church in the last six months. Regular church attenders are more likely to invite others to join them than sporadic attender...more

  • Problems Churches Face When They Don’t Have a Pastor – Rainer on Leadership #458

    Aug 14 2018

    Podcast Episode #458 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio William Vanderbloemen joins us to discuss the problems churches often face when they are pastorless. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When a church loses a pastor, it can expect a 5-15% drop in giving. The larger a church, the bigger attendance drop when a pastor leaves. The Word preached is the centerpiece of what we do in corporate worship. Parents attend churches where their ch...more

  • Why Digital Giving Options Are Vital for the Financial Health of Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #457

    Aug 10 2018

    Podcast Episode #457 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio If churches want the next generation of members to give to their full potential, digital giving options are a must. Today, we explain why. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Regardless of the size of your church, you should have digital giving options available to members. Online givers are more consistent with their giving because it is almost always automated. I don’t know of a si...more

  • Nine Key Statistical Insights from Churches in 2018 – Rainer on Leadership #456

    Aug 07 2018

    Podcast Episode #456 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Tony Morgan joins us to discuss statistical trends he’s finding in churches today and what those trends can mean for your church in the future. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches shouldn’t settle when it comes to attendance, but try to get members to become more regularly engaged. Building a bigger building might not the best way for your church to reach more people. Church...more

  • The Value of Women in the Workplace and the Rise of Working from Home – Rainer on Leadership #455

    Aug 03 2018

    Podcast Episode #455 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Shannon Miles joins us today to discuss her new book, The Third Option, and the rise of working from home. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “It’s important to have women in the room and speaking into major decisions in the church and workplace.” “Women do not have to choose between careers or families. There’s a way to do both and succeed.” Making working from home succeed require...more

  • Eight Warning Signs Your Church Is Drifting from God’s Mission – Rainer on Leadership #454

    Jul 31 2018

    Podcast Episode #454 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Is your church aligned with God’s intended mission for her? A post by Sam Rainer serves as the basis of today’s discussion on warning signs that you might be drifting from God’s mission. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You may recognize some of these warning signs in your church. Do people in your church talk about what they are doing or what God is doing through them? Too many o...more

  • Seven Reasons People Give More to Their Church – Rainer on Leadership #453

    Jul 27 2018

    Podcast Episode #453 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Money is a subject too many pastors avoid—but they shouldn’t. It’s important to preach and teach on biblical stewardship. Today we explain seven ways that can lead to increased giving. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pastors shouldn’t be fearful about preaching on money or stewardship. According to some studies, giving increases threefold when someone moves from attending worship...more

  • Top Ten Ways Churches Drive Away First-time Guests – Rainer on Leadership #452

    Jul 24 2018

    Podcast Episode #452 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Guest friendliness has been a constant theme on this blog and podcast over the past few years. There’s even a book that came out of these discussions. Today, we look at a classic post on the subject and unpack several ways churches actually push guests away. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Most church members think the church is friendly—because members are friendly to one anothe...more

  • Five Consequences of the Pending Retirement of Boomer Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #451

    Jul 20 2018

    Podcast Episode #451 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Every single day, 1,000 Boomers are hitting retirement age. This includes Boomer pastors. Today we discuss the consequences of this reality and also highlight why many are choosing Interim Pastor University to prepare for their next stage of ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: More churches are starting to plan for pastoral succession because they’ve seen how other churches...more

  • Five Future Developments Coming to the Church – Rainer on Leadership #450

    Jul 17 2018

    Podcast Episode #450 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Churches of the future will have many of the same components of churches today, but there are changes that will take place. Today, we cover five of those changes. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches of all sizes are starting to embrace the multi-site model. Multi-site will soon be as normative as multi-service is. Healthy churches almost always have healthy discipleship grou...more

  • Six Considerations for Selecting Mission Partners – Rainer on Leadership #449

    Jul 13 2018

    Podcast Episode #449 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Churches are asked often to help fund or partner in missions. Today, we discuss how to make those decisions thanks to a post by Sam Rainer. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If you cannot connect your church members to doing a mission, it’s hard to have them fund a mission. Don’t make a financial commitment to a mission partner and not come through with the funding. Doctrine is the...more

  • Why People Leave a Church – Rainer on Leadership #448

    Jul 10 2018

    Podcast Episode #448 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio A recent study by LifeWay Research showed that 15% of church members have considered leaving their church in the past six months. Today, we discuss why. Some highlights from today’s episode include: About 1 in 7 church members have considered leaving their church in the past six months. In the future, people will not be driving as far as they do today to attend church. They will want to live a...more

  • Seven Ways to Adapt to Changes in Church Attendance – Rainer on Leadership #447

    Jul 06 2018

    Podcast Episode #447 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Jim Sheppard, CEO of Generis, joins us today to talk about a new, free eBook (The Big Shift) and to discuss how your church can best adapt to the changing patterns in church member attendance. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When church members attend less frequently, you have to maximize every minute they do attend. Inadvertently, most churches send the message that they’re only...more

  • How to Deal With an Angry Church Member – Rainer on Leadership #446

    Jul 03 2018

    Podcast Episode #446 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio I get asked this question on nearly a daily basis. Pastors from all over are wanting to know how to deal with angry church members. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Responding to anger with more anger just escalates the situation. Sometimes people who are lashing out in anger just want to know they’ve been heard. Social media is not the place to try to end a heated argument. The v...more

  • Four Steps for Dealing with a #MeToo Moment in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #445

    Jun 29 2018

    Podcast Episode #445 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Josh Bryant, the Church Law Guru, joins us to discuss how your church can prepare for and respond to a #MeToo accusation. Some highlights from today’s episode include: In the church, we are more aware of sexual abuse and assault issues than ever before. Pastors need to lead church staffs through sexual harassment prevention training. If you become aware of sexual abuse or assault as a pastor, ...more

  • Six Ways the #MeToo Movement Has Affected Local Church Life – Rainer on Leadership #444

    Jun 26 2018

    Podcast Episode #444 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Sexual abuse in the Church has become a major issue for pastors and church leaders. Today, we discuss why this is an important moment for the Church to get right in the way things are handled. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Because of so many sexual abuse coverups in the past, the Church has lost respect and trust of many. Every church is vulnerable to a potential sexual abuse c...more

  • Equipping Millennials in the Church – Rainer on Leadership #443

    Jun 22 2018

    Podcast Episode #443 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Chris Martin, the Millennial Evangelical, joins us to discuss Ministering to Millennials and how your church can better equip and engage Millennials. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Systematic theology and classical theological training are more popular with Millennials than previous generations. We are seeing more theological interest in laity from Millennials than other generat...more

  • Eight Ways the Digital World Has Changed Local Church Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #442

    Jun 19 2018

    Podcast Episode #442 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Churches continue to be shaped by the changing digital world. Today, we discuss eight specific ways churches have been changed by technology and digital resources. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Online community is now just as important to people as their local community. We have a broadened definition of community because of online networks. Tweets can be taken down, but some c...more

  • What to Do If You Are Exhausted from Doing Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #441

    Jun 15 2018

    Podcast Episode #441 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Ministry never stops. Because of this, it can be quite exhausting. Today, we discuss how to combat this exhaustion. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Try to do more things that energize you in ministry and fewer things that drain you. Too many pastors are people pleasers and spend too much time dealing with the squeaky wheels in ministry. Pastors and church staff should try to spen...more

  • The Unchurched Next Door – Rainer on Leadership #440

    Jun 12 2018

    Podcast Episode #440 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio When it was published 15 years ago, The Unchurched Next Door provided insight into reaching those far from Christ with the gospel. Today, we review the book and the research that made it possible. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Gospel receptivity by the unchurched has decreased in the past 15 years. Even for non-Christians, Sunday is still seen as the traditional day for corpora...more

  • Seven Tips for Pastors on Facebook – Rainer on Leadership #439

    Jun 08 2018

    Podcast Episode #439 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Social media can be tricky for pastors and church staff. Who to connect with? Who to ignore? It’s not easy, so today we provide seven tips for navigating Facebook. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Facebook can be dangerous territory for pastors if they aren’t careful. It’s not wise for pastors to get into online quarrels with church members on Facebook. Remember, the world is watc...more

  • How to Do Staff Reviews – Rainer on Leadership #438

    Jun 05 2018

    Podcast Episode #438 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Staff reviews can be tricky for some pastors and church leaders. Today we discuss tips for doing those well. Some highlights from today’s episode include: A negative staff review should not be a surprise to the staff member. When setting goals for a staff member, they need to have input on the goals. Supervisors need to have a relationship with the person on staff that they are evaluating. If ...more

  • Surprising Insights from the Unchurched – Rainer on Leadership #437

    Jun 01 2018

    Podcast Episode #437 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio When Surprising Insights from the Unchurched released in the early 2000s, we didn’t realize nearly 20 years later that the research would still ring true. Today we discuss why it’s still applicable for churches in our day and age. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches can reach the unchurched in any setting and in any culture. Even though you may have contextual difference, re...more

  • Legal Issues Facing Churches Today – Rainer on Leadership #436

    May 29 2018

    Podcast Episode #436 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Legal expert and lawyer Josh Bryant joins us to discuss the five most important legal issues facing churches today. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church security is way more detailed than who should carry a gun. You’re way more likely to have other types of security issues at your church than you are to have an active shooter. When a church’s bylaws are not followed or they are...more

  • Challenges Church Personnel Committees (or Similar Groups) Face – Rainer on Leadership #435

    May 25 2018

    Podcast Episode #435 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Personnel teams at churches have a difficult job because they’re often tasked with oversight of people they don’t see but a few times a week. Today we discuss some of the challenges they face. Some highlights from today’s episode include: To accurately assess someone’s work performance, you need to have regular oversight of their work. Pastors, make sure you’re in regular communication with yo...more

  • Six Reasons to Love the Established Church – Rainer on Leadership #434

    May 22 2018

    Podcast Episode #434 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Sam Rainer joins us to talk about the established church and why pastors should love them. We also highlight an upcoming conference for pastors of established churches. Some highlights from today’s episode include: After a church has been around for more than a decade, it becomes an established church. When you inherit an established church, you often inherit 4-5 generations in a church. A hea...more

  • How Pastors Can Battle the Monday Blues – Rainer on Leadership #433

    May 18 2018

    Podcast Episode #433 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Mondays can be difficult for pastors and church staff. Today we discuss why and how to combat those rough Mondays. Some highlights from today’s episode include: It’s important to interact with church members on Sunday, but it can be draining at times. It might be better to not have all your church meetings on Sundays, but it just might not be possible. Try to include your family as much in min...more

  • Eight Examples of When a Pastor Leaves Too Soon – Rainer on Leadership #432

    May 15 2018

    Podcast Episode #432 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors often leave a church for another opportunity too soon. Today we discuss eight reasons pastors leave too soon and how to combat the urge to jump ship too early. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Leadership brings change. Change brings conflict. Be careful not to be called to a salary instead of being called to a church. Personnel teams should keep an eye on staff salaries an...more

  • Church Mergers, Administrative Responsibilities, and Other Listener Questions – Rainer on Leadership #431

    May 11 2018

    Podcast Episode #431 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio We have the best listeners. Whenever we travel, we are privileged to meet so many of you. Today, we answer listener questions on the podcast. Some highlights from today’s episode include: In the past, church mergers were a no-go. But they have become more in favor today because church facilities are at a premium in many areas. Don’t let the secular business world guide the sacred church world....more

  • Seven Time Eaters for Pastors and Staff – Rainer on Leadership #430

    May 08 2018

    Podcast Episode #430 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors have busy schedules, so time management is critical. Today we look at seven items on a pastor’s schedule and how you can best manage the time they take. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Weddings are hard for pastors to say “no” to, but they can be very time consuming if you don’t. Counseling is not something most senior pastors do well. It’s critical to have a referral lis...more

  • Six Major Staff Issues Pastors Face – Rainer on Leadership #429

    May 04 2018

    Podcast Episode #429 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Staff issues can derail a church. And when a pastor doesn’t know how to lead a staff, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Today we discuss six issues pastors often struggle with when they have a staff to lead. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When a new pastor comes to a church, cleaning house with the staff is not always needed. You have to set expectations with staff—especially i...more

  • What Pastors and Church Staff Tell Us They Wished They Had Learned at Seminary – Rainer on Leadership #428

    May 01 2018

    Podcast Episode #428 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio There are so many things you think you know until you live it. Today we talk about several things pastors and church staff won’t learn until they get on the job. And I also tell the story of my worst wedding ever. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You can learn leadership principles in school; but you learn leadership on the job. Pastoral counseling in today’s culture is more diffi...more

  • Six Myths about Outreach in the Local Church – Rainer on Leadership #427

    Apr 27 2018

    Podcast Episode #427 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio There are many myths that are pervasive which keep church members from actively inviting guests to church or initiating gospel conversations with them. Today, we debunk them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Following up with guests is not the same thing as church outreach. I’m afraid too many churches prematurely abandoned systematic outreach and didn’t replace it with anything. ...more

  • Seven Signs a Church Member Is Leaving – Rainer on Leadership #426

    Apr 24 2018

    Podcast Episode #426 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Church members leave churches. It happens. Sometimes it can be avoided, sometimes it cannot. Today we cover seven warning signs that someone might be about to leave the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Small group leaders need to track attendance and reach out to those who are frequently missing. Someone in the church needs to be monitoring giving just to be aware of any p...more

  • Small Church Essentials with Karl Vaters – Rainer on Leadership #425

    Apr 20 2018

    Podcast Episode #425 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Karl Vaters joins us once again to talk about how small churches should focus on growing healthier—not necessarily larger. Some highlights from today’s episode include: With churches, bigger is not always equal to healthier, and we need to focus more on health than size. Church health should be measured in three big buckets: fulfilling the Great Commission, fulfilling the Great Commandment, an...more

  • Key Issues for Follow-up of Guests – Rainer on Leadership #424

    Apr 17 2018

    Podcast Episode #424 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio How you follow up with guests often determines whether or not they will stick at your church. So these six keys are important for guest retention and assimilation. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The quicker you respond to and follow up with guests, the better chances they will return to your church. Pastoral touch points in church guest follow up are critical. Handwritten notes ...more

  • One Simple Step Toward a Better Church Budget – Rainer on Leadership #423

    Apr 13 2018

    Podcast Episode #423 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Art Rainer joins us to talk about church budgets, budgeting tools, and how churches can free up more money toward missions. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When dealing with personal finances, give generously, save wisely, and live appropriately. Envelope3 allows you to know if you’re spending too much on church personnel and operations. The #1 question pastors have about church ...more

  • 15 Favorite Apps for Church Leaders – Rainer on Leadership #422

    Apr 10 2018

    Podcast Episode #422 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors and church leaders are always asking about apps that can help their productivity. Today, we highlight 15 apps that can help you with productivity and your growth as a pastor. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The YouVersion Bible app is the most widely used Bible app out there. The CSBible app is getting more and more robust all the time. Audible has made my commute much mo...more

  • Will the Ministers’ Housing Allowance Go Away? – Rainer on Leadership #421

    Apr 06 2018

    Podcast Episode #421 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio The ministers’ housing allowance is an oft misunderstood benefit. Today, we discuss the future of the housing allowance and if/when it might go away. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches have moved away from providing parsonages for pastors. Ultimately, I believe the ministers’ housing allowance will be ruled on by the Supreme Court. If you’re getting a minsters’ housing allo...more

  • Should You Leave or Stay at Your Church? – Rainer on Leadership #420

    Apr 03 2018

    Podcast Episode #420 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio I have been asked this question several hundred times in the course of my ministry. Today, we cover the answers for it—because it’s not an easy answer. Some highlights from today’s episode include: No matter what metric you look at in churches, many of them are just not healthy. I don’t like organ music because it reminds me of funerals. One of the greatest points of resistance to change is in...more

  • The Eight Traits of an Assimilated Church Member – Rainer on Leadership #419

    Mar 30 2018

    Podcast Episode #419 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio If you want to close the back door of your church and keep members longer, these eight traits should be evident in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If you want to lose people out the backdoor of the church, then have a low view of church membership. There’s a high correlation of worship attendance and whether or not someone sticks at a church. The most meaningful rela...more

  • Five Reasons for Decreased Church Giving – Rainer on Leadership #418

    Mar 27 2018

    Podcast Episode #418 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Even though the economy has rebounded some churches still struggle financially—and some members struggle with giving faithfully. Today we cover the five reasons giving often decreases. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The healthiest church giving generation we know of was the builder generation. They are passing away, and their giving is not being replaced. Giving goes down as att...more

  • Six Future Projections about Churches That Are Becoming Reality – Rainer on Leadership #417

    Mar 23 2018

    Podcast Episode #417 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio This resource-laden podcast walks through six predictions for the future of churches. We’ve seen these trends over the past few years and now they are becoming a reality. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Too many church members stopped inviting lost neighbors because they thought their church’s cool music or attractional model would be enough to draw people in. Gospel conversation...more

  • Culture Wins, featuring William Vanderbloemen – Rainer on Leadership #416

    Mar 20 2018

    Podcast Episode #416 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio William Vanderbloemen joins us today to discuss the importance of workplace culture in the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The bigger your staff gets, the harder it is to maintain a good workplace culture. Millennials want to like the culture of the place at which they work. You need to set your own workplace culture. Don’t try to copy the culture of another church or min...more

  • Eight Questions Welcoming Churches Ask – Rainer on Leadership #415

    Mar 16 2018

    Podcast Episode #415 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Most every church thinks it welcomes guests well. Unfortunately, many are not welcoming at all. Today we discuss what welcoming churches focus on to more effectively reach guests. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We often neglect to invite people to church because we aren’t confident they will accept. There should be clear next steps for guests on your church’s website. Your churc...more

  • 9 Keys for Church Members to Be More Guest Friendly This Easter – Rainer on Leadership #414

    Mar 13 2018

    Podcast Episode #414 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Easter is just around the corner. So today, we take a look at nine keys to being a guest friendly congregation on Easter. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When you’re looking for an evangelistic opportunity, you’re more likely to see one. Easter is a great opportunity for church members to serve. More help is always needed and welcomed. If you need more volunteers to serve on East...more

  • How to Develop a Welcoming Worship Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #413

    Mar 09 2018

    Podcast Episode #413 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio The Worship Guru, Mike Harland, joins us again today to discuss how you can use your worship ministry to help become a more welcoming church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The reason we have such a shortage of worship pastors is because the role has changed so much. Your worship ministry can shut down the guest experience and make guests feel like outsiders by only singing orig...more

  • What to Do if Your Church Does Not Pay You Adequately – Rainer on Leadership #412

    Mar 06 2018

    Podcast Episode #412 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors often face financial pressure because salaries depend on giving of the church. If giving drops, salaries can be in jeopardy. Today we look at what to do when that happens. Some highlights from today’s episode include: High-paid pastors are the outliers. Most are underpaid. In most instances, salaries should not exceed 50% of the church budget. Pastors, get an advocate to go to bat for ...more

  • Seven Key Facility Issues Facing Churches Today – Rainer on Leadership #411

    Mar 02 2018

    Podcast Episode #411 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Churches across America are facing facility issues ranging from lighting and code requirements to having too much space. Tim Songster from Cosco & Associates (ChurchDesign.com) joins us to discuss how best to deal with these issues. Some highlights from today’s episode include: One of the primary ways churches are changing today is in the area of church facilities. LED lighting allows for ...more

  • Five of the Most Common Questions Pastors Ask – Rainer on Leadership #410

    Feb 27 2018

    Podcast Episode #410 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio There’s a continual dialogue between pastors and our team at ThomRainer.com and Church Answers. Because of this, we hear from pastors on an ongoing basis. Today we cover some of the questions we get the most. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When considering leaving your current pastorate, always consider both the push and the pull. There are more resources available to churches t...more

  • Six of the Most Common Reasons for Church Staff Conflict – Rainer on Leadership #409

    Feb 23 2018

    Podcast Episode #409 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Conflict is inevitable in the workplace. But there are things you can avoid that can help limit the conflict. Today, we cover six causes of conflict and how to overcome them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Always ask ministry philosophy questions when interviewing with a church. Low work ethic is a common cause of resentment from other staff. Never hire a friend if you’re not wi...more

  • How to Avoid Echo Chamber Leadership – Rainer on Leadership #408

    Feb 20 2018

    Podcast Episode #408 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Echo chambers can be disastrous for leaders. Today we discuss ways you can protect yourself from leading in an echo chamber. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Leaders must surround themselves with people who are not echo chambers. Employees need to remember they are there to serve the organization, not vice versa. Sycophants tend to kill teamwork. It’s easy to want to retreat into ...more

  • 12 Warning Signs of Potentially Bad Church Hires – Rainer on Leadership #407

    Feb 16 2018

    Podcast Episode #407 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Hiring in the church can be tricky at times. Today, we expound on a post by Chuck Lawless that looks at some warning signs to be on the lookout for when hiring a minister or staff member at your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If someone has several consecutive, short-tenured pastorates, it should be a warning sign when considering hiring them. Sloppy résumés mean you’ll ...more

  • The Rise of Networks, Bivocational Pastors, and Other Listener Questions – Rainer on Leadership #406

    Feb 13 2018

    Podcast Episode #406 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Listener questions are always fun to answer. Today we cover a wide-ranging group of topics and answer several pressing questions from listeners. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Do I see all denominations dying? No. But we are seeing more struggling. When you study Scripture, it’s difficult to argue against a plurality of leadership. Good financial stewardship should be a requirem...more

  • Five Reasons Pastors and Worship Leaders Should Meet Weekly – Rainer on Leadership #405

    Feb 09 2018

    Podcast Episode #405 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio The relationship between pastor and worship leader is one of the most important church staff relationships there is. Today, we discuss a post by Sam Rainer on why it’s critical for the two to meet weekly. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The preaching and music in a corporate worship service should complement one another. Church members can tell if there is a healthy relationship ...more

  • Seven Keys to Growing as a Pastor – Rainer on Leadership #404

    Feb 06 2018

    Podcast Episode #404 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio I love that the pastors we routinely interact with are always looking to improve. Today, we examine seven areas to focus on as a pastor that will help you serve your church better. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We have to be continual learners and apply what we learn to our lives. I am saddened at the rate of moral failures among ministers. It seems to be happening with more fr...more

  • Overcoming Mission Drift in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #403

    Feb 02 2018

    Podcast Episode #403 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio An inward focus often leads to an unhealthy church. Unhealthy churches drift from their mission. Today, we discuss how to combat mission drift. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If a church just does the status quo, the natural tendency will be to move inwardly. You have to be highly intentional if you want your church to move outwardly. Too many church members have an erroneous un...more

  • Eight Reasons Denominations Are Struggling – Rainer on Leadership #402

    Jan 30 2018

    Podcast Episode #402 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio We turn our attention to denominations today and examine eight reasons many of them are struggling. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Getting angry about your circumstances never accomplishes anything. One major reason denominations boomed in the late 20th century was because they were reaching cultural Christians. Infighting often causes denominations to make up a fight just to ma...more

  • How to Overcome Barriers to the Simple Church Model – Rainer on Leadership #401

    Jan 26 2018

    Podcast Episode #401 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Complexity cripples too many churches. They want to simplify, but don’t know where to start. Today, we identify barriers to simplifying your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: What is your church holding onto that is keeping it from moving forward? It doesn’t matter how great your vision statement is if no one can remember it. If you want your church to remember its vision s...more

  • Four Keys to a Successful Church Year in 2018 – Rainer on Leadership #400

    Jan 23 2018

    Podcast Episode #400 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio We celebrate our 400th episode by discussing four keys for how churches can be successful in their ministry this year. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We have mission drift in many of our churches. You cannot make incremental adjustments to become outwardly focused. It must be a major shift. If your church is focused on outreach, it will likely have fewer distractions and argumen...more

  • Should You Count Online Viewers as Worship Attendees? – Rainer on Leadership #399

    Jan 19 2018

    Podcast Episode #399 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio After the discussion surrounding a blog post earlier this week, we look at the pertinent question surrounding the topic of the internet church: should you count them in your weekly worship number? Some highlights from today’s episode include: If you lower the importance of gathered worship, don’t be surprised if people attend less often There is a high correlation of attendance and giving. Peo...more

  • Virtual Culture and the Church – Rainer on Leadership #398

    Jan 16 2018

    Podcast Episode #398 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Bryan Miles returns to the podcast to discuss how the virtual work environment is affecting churches and how churches can benefit from virtual workers. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Culture is equally important to revenue in the workplace. You don’t have to have a physical office to be successful in your work. Churches will soon have a huge opportunity as space is left behind b...more

  • Does Your Church Need a Church Consultation? – Rainer on Leadership #397

    Jan 12 2018

    Podcast Episode #397 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Church consultants can be very valuable and effective for churches if they are used well. Today we discuss when to get one, what to look for , ad what the outcome should be. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If a church is having a consultant come in and the senior pastor isn’t involved, that’s a red flag. The primary benefit of a church consultant is having some look at the church...more

  • Creating a Zero-Based Church Schedule – Rainer on Leadership #396

    Jan 09 2018

    Podcast Episode #396 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Churches are busy. Some are too busy for their own good. So today, we discuss what a zero-based church schedule might look like and how to practice the exercise on your own. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Most churches have not made the crossover from the program-centered church to the current reality of church schedules. Don’t let the church calendar become the end instead of t...more

  • Humor and the Church with @ChrchCurmudgeon – Rainer on Leadership #395

    Jan 05 2018

    Podcast Episode #395 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio The Church Curmudgeon (David Paul Regier) joins us to talk about humor and worship in the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Hymns are something people hold onto throughout their lives. Worship is not a spectator sport. It’s possible to keep a worship service fresh without having to do the hot new thing. About the Church Curmudgeon Church Curmudgeon is the old guy who sits ...more

  • Why 2018 Is so Different Than 2008 in the Local Church – Rainer on Leadership #394

    Jan 02 2018

    Podcast Episode #394 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio A lot has changed in our world over the past 10 years. Today, we highlight some major shifts in the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: I think in ten years, we will see more co-vocational church staff. The decline of “Cultural Christianity” is not a bad thing. The church leader of the future has to be a learner. The problem with information is not the lack of it, it’s curati...more

  • When to Leave a Church (and other listener questions) – Rainer on Leadership #393

    Dec 29 2017

    Podcast Episode #393 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Our final episode of 2017 features listener questions ranging from topics of dying churches to leaving churches to dealing with grief. Thanks again for a great year of Rainer on Leadership. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There are absolutely times when you should leave a church—first and foremost is a doctrinal aberration. A family needs to be united in where they attend a churc...more

  • How to Handle a Church Staff Financial Crisis (and other listener questions) – Rainer on Leadership #392

    Dec 26 2017

    Podcast Episode #392 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio As we close out 2017, we answer a few questions from listeners. Like many questions we receive, these have a great deal to do with the changing church landscape. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When it comes to church finances, you have to put the good of the church ahead of any particular staff. As a pastor, you have to be willing to stand up for yourself against church bullies....more

  • Finding the Right Rhythm in Your Preaching Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #391

    Dec 22 2017

    Podcast Episode #391 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio One of the most frequently asked questions I get deals with how to find time for sermon preparation. The key if finding a rhythm in your prep. Today we discuss how. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The amount of time needed for sermon preparation differs based on a pastor’s skill sets. Always anticipate that it will take more time to prepare a sermon than you initially think. Don’...more

  • Ten Important Trends for Churches in 2018 – Rainer on Leadership #390

    Dec 19 2017

    Podcast Episode #390 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Every year, we take a look a the trends we expect to see in the new year. Today, we look at the trends for 2018. Some highlights from today’s episode include: People are listening to more audio for learning purposes than ever before. The boomer retirement crisis is two-fold: a lot are about to retire, but some will hang on too long. The retail bust could be big for churches looking for space. ...more

  • Breaking Out of the Status Quo in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #389

    Dec 15 2017

    Podcast Episode #389 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Whether a church is in decline, plateaued, or growing, sticking to the status quo can hurt the church. Church is often needed, and to lead change, you often have to break out of the status quo. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When I see “status quo” I relate it to lack of courage, lack of foresight, lack of vision, and comfort. It’s entirely possible for a growing church to be ha...more

  • Why Leaders Stop Leading – Rainer on Leadership #388

    Dec 12 2017

    Podcast Episode #388 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Ever known a leader who didn’t lead? They may have had the position to do so, but just didn’t follow through with the action. Today, we discuss why. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Leadership is not something you attain. Leadership is a progressive journey. Too many leaders don’t actually know how to lead. Too many pastors are trying not to be autocratic that they aren’t actually...more

  • 10 Keys to Maximizing Your Church Facility – Rainer on Leadership #387

    Dec 08 2017

    Podcast Episode #387 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Tim Cool returns to the podcast today to discuss facility issues churches often face and how you can tackle them in 2018. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Your church is more inclined to experience a parent in a divorce case trying to abduct a child than it is to experience an active shooter. Presence is the #1 thing your church can do to increase security. Is your church facility...more

  • How Being Nice Can Lead to Bad Decisions – Rainer on Leadership #386

    Dec 05 2017

    Podcast Episode #386 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Decisions have to be made in the church. Unfortunately our desire to be nice and avoid hurting someone’s feelings can often lead to either a bad decision or simply not making one that’s needed. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Christian organizations should be better stewards of resources than any other organization. Most people know when a change in personnel needs to be made in ...more

  • Five Ways to Connect Your Church to Your Community – Rainer on Leadership #385

    Dec 01 2017

    Podcast Episode #385 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Dean Inserra joins us today to explain how City Church Tallahassee has used community events and organization to connect church members to the community. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Don’t equip members just to have more Bible knowledge. Equip them to be missionaries in their hometown. For far too long, the missionary label has just been for those who go overseas. Christian ma...more

  • What Churches That Have Healthy Small Groups Are Doing – Rainer on Leadership #384

    Nov 28 2017

    Podcast Episode #384 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Groups are important to the vitality of a church. As we discuss today, groups are often the catalyst for healthy growth in a church. If you look at a healthy church, you’ll likely see a healthy groups system. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Groups is one of the most neglected areas of church leadership. Someone who is in a small group is five times more likely still to be in a ch...more

  • Seven Ways Mentoring Can Transform Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #383

    Nov 24 2017

    Podcast Episode #383 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio We often think of mentoring as passing on life skills. While that’s true, in the church it can be used to pass on spiritual disciplines as well. Today, Regi Campbell joins us to share how mentoring can help re-energize churches and ministries. Some highlights from today’s episode include: A mentoring program keeps retirees involved in the ministry of the church. Men in the church want to be ch...more

  • Five Problems with Conventional Wisdom – Rainer on Leadership #382

    Nov 21 2017

    Podcast Episode #382 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Rarely do people push back against conventional wisdom. But as we share today, maybe they should. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Don’t assume conventional wisdom to always be truth. When someone at a church says “We can’t do that because it’s in the bylaws,” that is not always the case. And if it is, bylaws can be changed. Most policies are implemented to idiot-proof an organiza...more

  • Five Problems Caused by Short Pastoral Tenure – Rainer on Leadership #381

    Nov 17 2017

    Podcast Episode #381 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio While some circumstances do call for quick pastoral turnover, it’s hard not to wonder if some churches fire their pastor (or the pastor bails) too quickly. Today, we cover the problems that result from this. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches tend to hire the opposite of what they previously had. They swing the pendulum the other way. When a pastor bails on a church or is f...more

  • Eight Keys for Church Christmas Services – Rainer on Leadership #380

    Nov 14 2017

    Podcast Episode #380 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Ready or not, Christmas is coming. That means churches are planning events, socials, and special services. Today we provide some tips to make this a great Christmas season for your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: A Christmas Eve evening service is a prime time to reach unchurched people. People expect you to have a traditional Christmas Eve service. Thanksgiving is the ma...more

  • The Beth Moore Story – Rainer on Leadership #379

    Nov 10 2017

    Podcast Episode #379 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Renowned Bible teacher Beth Moore joins us to tell her story on a special extended episode of Rainer on Leadership. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “I really have one ultimate love in my life, and that is Jesus.” “Reading and studying the Bible should be the most thrilling thing in our lives.” “We should study in the Bible for a lesson—not for tweetable moments and sound bites.” ...more

  • Why Leaders Get Cold Feet – Rainer on Leadership #378

    Nov 07 2017

    Podcast Episode #378 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Cold feet often plagues pastors and their decision making. Today we discuss reasons for this cold feet syndrome and how to battle it. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We are now in a time where incremental change in the church does not work like it used to. Don’t make decisions based on conflict avoidance. Too many pastors are not trained to lead. They’re trained theologically, bu...more

  • How Church Leaders Can Fight Discouragement – Rainer on Leadership #377

    Nov 03 2017

    Podcast Episode #377 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors often deal with discouragement on a weekly—or even daily—basis. Today we discuss how to fight ten sources of pastoral discouragement. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Very few (if any) pastors have only pastored churches that have done nothing but grow while they were the pastor. There will be resistance to change in any organization or church. The ten sources of discoura...more

  • Seven Ways Busyness Can Harm a Church – Rainer on Leadership #376

    Oct 31 2017

    Podcast Episode #376 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Churches like to be busy. Unfortunately busyness can hurt a church’s effectiveness. Today we discuss this problem and how to deal with it. Some highlights from today’s episode include: A busy church is not always an effective church. Churches should be culturally contextual in their area, not cultural transplanted from another area. Your church should have a clearly defined process of disciple...more

  • Four Stupid Things Pastors Do That Ruin Their Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #375

    Oct 27 2017

    Podcast Episode #375 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors and church staff do a lot of great things. Unfortunately, they sometimes do some stupid things too. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The internet has made both sermon plagiarism and detecting sermon plagiarism easier. Pastor, if you’re plagiarizing sermons, I guarantee you that people know it. Church credit cards can be very helpful. They can also be very harmful when abus...more

  • The Importance of Guest Connections – Rainer on Leadership #374

    Oct 24 2017

    Podcast Episode #374 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Will Mancini joins us to discuss how churches can better connect with guests and mistakes they make that hurt those connections. Some highlights from today’s episode include: A church’s first impressions can make an eternal impact on guests. It’s not uncommon for guests to make up 5-8% of a church’s weekly attendance. Guests are starting to decide whether or not to return to your church within...more

  • Four Communications Problems Churches Face and How to Solve Them – Rainer on Leadership #373

    Oct 20 2017

    Podcast Episode #373 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Darrel Girardier joins us to discuss how bet to operate your church’s communications efforts for both online and in print. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The tools you use depend on the skills of the user. When you build a website on a proprietary platform, you’re stuck with that platform. “The majority of your church’s social media content should revolve around the sermon.” You...more

  • Ten Unrealistic Expectations Placed on Ministry Spouses – Rainer on Leadership #372

    Oct 17 2017

    Podcast Episode #372 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio We routinely hear from pastors’ wives and ministry spouses. Their feedback is often heartbreaking. Today, we expound on their frustrations. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pastor spouses are often expected to be omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Church members often complain to a minister’s spouse if they feel like they aren’t getting the attention they deserve. If you nee...more

  • Six Ways to Lose Church Volunteers – Rainer on Leadership #371

    Oct 13 2017

    Podcast Episode #371 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Volunteers are important for churches. And it’s even more important to keep them. Today, we discuss six ways churches often lose volunteers. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If you continue to get a volunteer’s name wrong, it gives the perception that you don’t care about them. Poor grammar distracts from your message and hurts your credibility. Everyone, regardless of how busy yo...more

  • Five Small Shifts That That Will Transform Your Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #370

    Oct 10 2017

    Podcast Episode #370 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Daniel Im joins us to discuss his new book, No Silver Bullets, and five shifts you can make that will radically your ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “Discipleship is a direction, not a destination.” Reading your Bible is critical to growing as a disciple. Focus more on the function of community than the form. Regardless of how we make our paycheck, we all have the same ...more

  • Three Important Financial Realities Facing Churches Today – Rainer on Leadership #369

    Oct 06 2017

    Podcast Episode #369 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio LifeWay research recently released a study of financial issues in the church. Today, we discuss these three issues and ways churches can better prepare themselves financially. Some highlights from today’s episode include: 26% of churches have cash reserves of seven weeks or less. Those who give faithfully typically budget their tithe. Churches need both a facility reserve fund and a cash reser...more

  • Seven Characteristics of Proactive Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #368

    Oct 03 2017

    Podcast Episode #368 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Reactivity can hurt a pastor’s ministry, but so many pastors are more reactive than proactive. Today, we examine seven traits of a proactive pastor. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When looking ahead, plan and communicate for the future. A proactive pastor is one who brings chaos back to order. The more you develop relationships, the more freedom you will have to lead. Sermon pre...more

  • 10 Critical Pieces of Pastoral Advice – Rainer on Leadership #367

    Sep 29 2017

    Podcast Episode #367 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors often come seeking advice. Today, we cover ten of the most frequent requests we get. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Don’t focus on critics. When you avoid tough personnel decisions, the decisions won’t get any easier to make. Ignoring staff tension will eventually hurt the entire church. Attacking your pastor or church staff on social media is cowardly and weak. What get...more

  • 5 Simple Ways to Improve as a Church Leader – Rainer on Leadership #366

    Sep 26 2017

    Podcast Episode #366 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Growing as a leader is important to grow in ministry. Today, we discuss a post by Sam Rainer on the five ways you can grow as a leader in the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Bad leaders are stingy with knowledge. Good ones share what they know. One sign of insecurity is withholding information from others. Don’t expect more effort from those you lead than what you’re will...more

  • Why Every Leader Should Consider Having a Coach – Rainer on Leadership #365

    Sep 22 2017

    Podcast Episode #365 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Leaders in the church often struggle on their own. They are at their most effective when they have someone coaching them and pushing them to realize their full potential. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “Ministry leadership is some of the most complex and challenging leadership environments we will find ourselves in.” “Leadership is all about people.” “We see leadership coaching ...more

  • 10 Mistakes Churches Make in Evaluating Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #364

    Sep 19 2017

    Podcast Episode #364 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Pastors and church staff are often evaluated poorly. This often stems from a lack of clarity as to what the job actually entails. So today we walk through a post from Chuck Lawless on mistakes churches often make when evaluating pastors and staff. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Everyone needs evaluating in their job. Usually people evaluating the pastor do not see what happens d...more

  • Seven Symptoms of Leaders Who Don’t Finish Well – Rainer on Leadership #363

    Sep 15 2017

    Podcast Episode #363 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Leaders often struggle to let go and move on. And it’s often for one of these seven reasons. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pastors and church staff members in their 20s and 30s want to know how to finish well. Coasting in ministry is basically telling God “I’m not going to do what you’ve called me to do.” If your church you pastor averages 200 in attendance, you have 200 people...more

  • Six Reasons Not to Quit – Rainer on Leadership #362

    Sep 12 2017

    Podcast Episode #362 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio Mondays are ofter quite difficult for those in ministry. It’s the day many want to throw in the towel. Today, we explain six reasons why you shouldn’t quit. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Wise counsel from godly friends is needed when you feel like quitting. Giving thanks to God for what you have changes your perspective on what you don’t have. Lay leaders: express gratitude to ...more

  • 5 Compelling Reasons To Start a New Church or Campus – Rainer on Leadership #361

    Sep 08 2017

    Podcast Episode #361 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play • iHeart Radio New campuses and new church plants often create an energy established churches and campuses do not. But how much of a difference does it make? Today we examine some new research on the subject courtesy of Warren Bird and the Leadership Network. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You’re likely to reach more Millennials with a newer campus or facility. People who attend churches/campu...more

  • 10 Reasons Church Revitalizations Often Fail – Rainer on Leadership #360

    Sep 05 2017

    Podcast Episode #360 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Church revitalization, like several other things in the church, is not easy. There are no magic bullets, and because it’s hard, church revitalization often fails. Today, we cover ten reasons why. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church members are often accepting of the idea of change—just not the action of change. A lot of churches could do better in revitalization if they just knew how. Church...more

  • Seven Reasons Church Acquisitions Are Critical for the Future – Rainer on Leadership #359

    Sep 01 2017

    Podcast Episode #359 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Churches are dying all over the country. However, their legacy of ministry can live on if the right decisions are made by the leadership. Today we discuss those tough decisions and the reasons churches should be looking to acquire dying churches. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church buildings should be used for ministry and community presence. If your church is dying, do whatever you can to k...more

  • Five Evangelism Realities We Must Face – Rainer on Leadership #358

    Aug 29 2017

    Podcast Episode #358 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play How much growth in growing churches is due to evangelism? Not as much as you would hope. We discuss effective evangelistic churches and more on this week’s episode. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Most growth in churches is from transfers, not conversions. 93-94% of churches are not effectively evangelistic. Churches have lost their intentionality in evangelism. Evangelism is falling off the ra...more

  • Five Surprising Insights about Growing Churches – Rainer on Leadership #357

    Aug 25 2017

    Podcast Episode #357 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play We continue our focus on evangelism and churches by revealing five surprising insights that were found in the research on effective evangelistic churches. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If a church is growing, it’s highly likely that it’s growing faster than its community. By definition, there aren’t many effective evangelistic churches. Church leaders outside of what’s left of the Bible Belt ...more

  • 10 Keys to Creating Passionate Volunteers – Rainer on Leadership #356

    Aug 22 2017

    Podcast Episode #356 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Ministries run on the backs of volunteers. Here are ten ways you can invest in your volunteers to create passionate servants in your ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You are more likely to recruit a volunteer with vision than with responsibilities. Having an end date or break times built in will help with recruiting volunteers. There are so many ways to honor volunteers and make them f...more

  • Four Paths for Church Revitalization – Rainer on Leadership #355

    Aug 18 2017

    Podcast Episode #355 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Revitalization is needed in nearly two thirds of churches in America. Today we discuss four paths for revitalization and the challenges of each. Some highlights from today’s episode include: True, biblical church revitalization will include an evangelism emphasis. Churches that need revitalization are almost always spiritual navel gazers. Church relocation doesn’t meet automatic revitalization—but a lot of c...more

  • Growing Churches, Evangelism Renewal, and You – Rainer on Leadership #354

    Aug 15 2017

    Podcast Episode #354 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Statistics of doom and gloom for churches are all the rage—especially for those who specialize in helping churches. But are they correct? Not always. Some highlights from today’s episode include: It takes about three years of data to see patterns in churches. 56% of churches are in absolute decline. More than 1/3 of churches are growing. Episode Sponsors Vanderbloemen Search Group is the premier pastor sea...more

  • Seven Thoughts That Will Ruin a Leader – Rainer on Leadership #353

    Aug 11 2017

    Podcast Episode #353 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play The mind of a leader is important to his or her success. Today, we discuss seven thoughts that can derail your leadership decisions. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Little compromises often lead to bigger compromises and ultimately can lead to moral failure. For some pastors, their mistress is the church. Don’t fear change out of self-preservation. Change is not only inevitable, it is coming fa...more

  • Five Leadership Roadblocks Effective Leaders Overcome – Rainer on Leadership #352

    Aug 08 2017

    Podcast Episode #352 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Leaders often face decision making roadblocks that affect the health of their church or organization. Today we discuss how to overcome these roadblocks. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “Make the inevitable the immediate.” — Dean Inserra Too many leaders kick the can on difficult decision. It is inconceivable to many church members that a church would delete someone’s job or fire a staff member....more

  • Five Really Bad Reasons for Entering the Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #351

    Aug 04 2017

    Podcast Episode #351 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Vocational ministry is not the cake walk many make it out to be. And sometimes men or women enter ministry for the wrong reasons. Today, we discuss those reasons and issue five cautions. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Vocational ministry should not be an escape route for your secular job. Vocational ministry is one of the most difficult jobs you can have. Being a good public speaker is not the...more

  • How to Leave a Legacy as a Leader – Rainer on Leadership #350

    Aug 01 2017

    Podcast Episode #350 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Leaders should desire to leave their church or organization better than when they arrived. Today, we tackle eight characteristics of leaders who leave a legacy that lasts. Some highlights from today’s episode include: One of the most important aspects of leaders is what happens after they are gone. Biblical faithfulness is foundational for Christian leaders who leave legacies. Continual short-term pastorates...more

  • Keeping an Inner City Church in the Inner City – Rainer on Leadership #349

    Jul 28 2017

    Podcast Episode #349 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Dwayne Pickett, pastor of a large megachurch in Jackson, MS, joins us to discuss his new book and how inner city ministry isn’t really that different than ministry in other contexts. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “Sometimes the hardest people to help are the ones who need the most help.” God is still present even when He doesn’t take away every pain or problem. “People everywhere are hurt. Pe...more

  • Seven Personalities of Sick Churches – Rainer on Leadership #348

    Jul 25 2017

    Podcast Episode #348 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play In churches who are dying, you often hear statements like the ones we cover today. Today we explain how to identify the personalities of sick churches. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Too many church leaders are not willing to admit their church is sick. A church cannot get healthy until she first realizes she is sick. Decline of more than 20% after a pastor or staff member leaves should signal...more

  • Six Evangelism Killers in a Church – Rainer on Leadership #347

    Jul 21 2017

    Podcast Episode #347 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play We have discussed evangelism a lot over the past few weeks and even launched a new site focused on it at EvangelismRenewal.com. Today we discuss six statements that can kill evangelism in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Evangelism is often the least natural ministry in many churches. If there is not explicit intentionality about evangelism, it will wane in a church. Evangelism is n...more

  • What to Do When You Work for a Bad Leader – Rainer on Leadership #346

    Jul 18 2017

    Podcast Episode #346 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play It can be frustrating to work for a bad leader. But does that mean you have to leave immediately or attempt a coup? Not at all. Today we cover six steps to consider when you work for a bad leader. Some highlights from today’s episode include: A bad leader is not the same thing as a bad person. A primary characteristic of the best leaders is decisiveness. If you work for a bad leader, follow them in the areas...more

  • 10 Most Frequent Questions Pastors Have – Rainer on Leadership #345

    Jul 14 2017

    Podcast Episode #345 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play We get questions every day from several venues—blog comments, emails, tweets, and so many more. Here are the top 10 that we get the most and how to answer them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The starting point for a church’s revitalization is different in every situation. Your church is usually farther along in its need for revitalization than you realize. It’s amazing the number of pastors w...more

  • How to Improve Your Preaching or Teaching – Rainer on Leadership #344

    Jul 11 2017

    Podcast Episode #344 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Improving your preaching and teaching doesn’t happen accidentally. It takes intentionality and work. And today we cover 15 ways you can improve your preaching or teaching. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Intentionality is always key to improvement. What gets calendared gets done. Sermon prep alone is not sufficient for the personal devotional life a pastor needs to have. Pastors need to know th...more

  • How Stability Can Hurt a Church – Rainer on Leadership #343

    Jul 07 2017

    Podcast Episode #343 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Stability is often a goal for churches. Unfortunately stable churches are often stagnant churches. So when we talk about stable churches today, it’s in that context. And there are five reasons that can be a very bad thing for a church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Stable doctrine can be good thing. Stagnant ministry is not. A stagnant church is not a church on mission. Comfort is often the e...more

  • Why Church Members Attend Less Frequently — Rainer on Leadership #342

    Jul 04 2017

    Podcast Episode #342 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Regular church attendance has waned in recent years as the commitment level from members has dropped. Today, we address five major reasons for this drop in attendance. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Is the church so important that you need to gather with other believers on a regular basis? Yes. It is extremely difficult to make disciples of church members if you don’t know where they are. Cult...more

  • 13 Signs of Pastor Fatigue – Rainer on Leadership #341

    Jun 30 2017

    Podcast Episode #341 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play There are danger signs in any vocation. But if you ignore these, it might be more than just your job that you lose—it could be your ministry that’s lost. Thanks again to Chuck Lawless for the post from which these warning signs come. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Living for your days off is a miserable way to live in ministry. If you consistently don’t get enough rest and sleep, you likely wo...more

  • She Reads Truth with Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams – Rainer on Leadership #340

    Jun 27 2017

    Podcast Episode #340 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Raechel and Amanda from She Reads Truth join us to discuss how they got started, what went into the production of one of the hottest Bibles on the market, and what’s next for the She Reads Truth family. Some highlights from today’s episode include: She Reads Truth was born from the desire to read God’s Word more. “When we create reading plans, we want to let Scripture interpret Scripture.” The She Reads Trut...more

  • Five Danger Signs in Churches – Rainer on Leadership #339

    Jun 23 2017

    Podcast Episode #339 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play If any of these danger signs are present in your church, you need to take note. They can signal decline, dead theology, or even death of the church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: There is a growing danger of the exclusivity of Christ being lost in many churches. Any rationale that minimizes evangelism is contrary to Scripture. Evangelism doesn’t just happen. It requires intentionality. Action...more

  • Five Big Problems for Small Churches, featuring Karl Vaters – Rainer on Leadership #338

    Jun 20 2017

    Podcast Episode #338 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Karl Vaters joins us to discuss issues found most often in small churches. However, these issues manifest themselves in any size church in any setting. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Small churches are not a problem, virtue, or excuse. Just because your church is small does not mean you can’t do good ministry. There’s not a single command to the New Testament church that can’t be accomplished ...more

  • Eight Signs That Point to Probable Church Death – Rainer on Leadership #337

    Jun 16 2017

    Podcast Episode #337 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play These eight signs are almost always evident in churches that are on their way to death. Does your church exhibit any of these? Some highlights from today’s episode include: Blogs create fans, podcasts create family. Four consecutive years of decline indicate a problem that must be addressed. If your congregation is mostly senior adults, you’re only a few funerals away from closing the church doors. Don’t sit...more

  • Dealing with Private Distractions to Worship, featuring Mike Harland – Rainer on Leadership #336

    Jun 13 2017

    Podcast Episode #336 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Mike Harland is back to talk about those things which can become private distractions to our worship. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church leaders would rather not talk about “dress code” for those leading worship, but it can be problematic. As a leader, you have to be responsible for people in your ministry. In the social media age, ministry leaders need to be aware of how those in their min...more

  • The Money Challenge featuring Art Rainer – Rainer on Leadership #335

    Jun 09 2017

    Podcast Episode #335 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Art Rainer joins us to talk about generosity and money matters related to his new book The Money Challenge. Some highlights from today’s episode include: God has designed us not as hoarders but as conduits through which His generosity flows. Debt cripples your ability to live generously. Pastors are often hesitant to preach on finances as a way to avoid conflict that may result. When we give, we should have ...more

  • Why So Many Churches Are Too Busy – Rainer on Leadership #334

    Jun 06 2017

    Podcast Episode #334 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Nearly every pastor I talk with says their church is just too busy. So why does this happen? Why do we let it become like this? Today, we tackle eight reasons. Some highlights from today’s episode include: In the past, churches looked to programs to grow the church. That’s not the case today. There’s nothing wrong with programs as long as they are the means, not the end. Program-driven churches give the appe...more

  • How to Reverse a Negative Church Environment – Rainer on Leadership #333

    Jun 02 2017

    Podcast Episode #333 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Churches often find themselves in a rut or a case of the doldrums. Today, we cover five ways your church can snap out of a negative spiral. Some highlights from today’s episode include: It’s hard to stay mad at someone if you’re praying for that person. Ongoing ministry and missions should be taking place in the local community of a church. Some leaders have too much pride to admit they’ve made a mistake. Pe...more

  • The Pastor and Church Revitalization featuring Andrew Davis – Rainer on Leadership #332

    May 30 2017

    Podcast Episode #332 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Revitalization continues to be a topic of interest in churches, and today Andrew Davis, pastor of FBC Durham, NC, joins us to talk about his journey of revitalization and his discipline of Scripture memorization. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “When a church needs revitalization, there are typically toxic forces at work in that church.” Pastors need allies, friends, and spiritually-minded peop...more

  • Top Seven Regrets Most Pastors Have – Rainer on Leadership #331

    May 26 2017

    Podcast Episode #331 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play We cover seven regrets many pastors and church staff have and how to overcome them. And we also talk about Chuck E. Cheese. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Seminaries are great, but no school can teach everyone everything needed for ministry. Critics will always be present for leaders. There can be healthy critics; it’s just hard to see them that way. When faced with a difficult situation, do y...more

  • 10 Things Church Members Want from Their Pastor – Rainer on Leadership #330

    May 23 2017

    Podcast Episode #330 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Ever wondered what your church wants from its pastor? Today, we cover the top ten things church members desire in a pastor. Some highlights from today’s episode include: A church wants to know that their pastor loves them. Effective preaching requires adequate time for preparation. Much of a pastor’s ministry is judged as effective or not based upon the preaching ministry. Social media background checks are ...more

  • Dealing with Public Distractions to Worship, featuring Mike Harland – Rainer on Leadership #329

    May 19 2017

    Podcast Episode #329 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Distractions are a real part of worship services. Mike Harland joins us today to talk about how to eliminate—or at least minimize—distractions in your worship service. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Music leaders should see themselves as the enemies of distraction in worship services. Churches that aren’t extremely careful with their slides can be disruptive to their worship service. Presentat...more

  • The 10 Most Common Things a Church Consultant Will Tell Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #328

    May 16 2017

    Podcast Episode #328 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play A post by Chuck Lawless serves as the basis for today’s podcast. Dr. Lawless has been consulting with churches for nearly two decades and shared ten things he had learned from dozens of church consultations. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Most of the time, when a church consultant is called in, it is too late. Every church should consider having a health check-up every three years. The primary...more

  • How Churches Can Break Growth Barriers, featuring Warren Bird — Rainer on Leadership #327

    May 12 2017

    Podcast Episode #327 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Warren Bird joins us today to talk about how your church can break growth barriers at any level. Some highlights from today’s episode include: People are in your community. Are you ready to reach them? “Pastors shouldn’t be the only minister in a church. They should be the minister maker.” “Hire developers before you hire doers.” “It’s not how many seeds are in an apple, but how many apples are in a seed.” W...more

  • Six Reasons Millennials Should Consider Pastoring Established Churches – Rainer on Leadership #326

    May 09 2017

    Podcast Episode #326 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Millennials are being called to established churches, so today we cover six reasons they should answer those calls. Thanks to Sam Rainer for the outline for today’s podcast. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Established churches are more likely to be more generationally diverse than church plants. A sense of history of the church is invaluable to a new pastor. Sometimes an established church’s hi...more

  • When to Pull the Plug on a Ministry and Other Listener Questions – Rainer on Leadership #325

    May 05 2017

    Podcast Episode #325 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Listener feedback has been great recently, so we take some time to answer your questions on this week’s episode. We cover everything from hiring to boring churches to problems with former staff. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If a ministry event is high on resources and involvement but low on results, it may be time to pull the plug on it. You hire in the church based on Christian commitment a...more

  • What to Do When You Build too Big – Rainer on Leadership #324

    May 02 2017

    Podcast Episode #324 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Construction debt can be debilitating for churches, but there can be a way out. Today we discuss the unintended consequences of building too big and how to overcome them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If you build too big of a church facility, these things may happen. Don’t let unneeded building debt replace needed ministry funding. Unwieldy debt can get a church off message. They start think...more

  • How to Make Your Ministry Résumé Stand Out – Rainer on Leadership #323

    Apr 28 2017

    Podcast Episode #323 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Ministry résumés are a frequent topic for questions. So on today’s episode we discuss all the details that go into a good résumé. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Want to make your ministry résumé stand out? Do it well. The most common grammatical mistake on résumés is the use of random capitalization. Use appropriate fonts on résumés. If you’re going to put a photo on your résumé, make it a goo...more

  • Finding Unity in Worship Styles featuring Mike Harland – Rainer on Leadership #322

    Apr 25 2017

    Podcast Episode #322 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Mike Harland is back to talk worship and this time we discuss labels of music styles and if it’s possible to have a congregation unified about worship styles. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “The lack of unity in worship is an indictment on the worship that’s happening in our churches.” “You cannot build unity in a church around a music style.” “Because of music style trends, we’ve seen a gener...more

  • Four Keys to Creating a Healthy Staff Culture featuring Bryan and Shannon Miles – Rainer on Leadership #321

    Apr 21 2017

    Podcast Episode #321 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Staff culture is important for healthy churches. Today, we talk with Bryan and Shannon Miles who lead the #1 staff culture in the U.S. according to Entrepreneur magazine. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “You can’t ask others to do things you’re not willing to do as the leader.” “As a leader, you can’t force or create a policy that you’re not willing to live and die by as well.” “Not everyone ca...more

  • The Need for Church Replanting featuring Mark Clifton – Rainer on Leadership #320

    Apr 18 2017

    Podcast Episode #320 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Church replanting is becoming more and more of a need as more and more churches face death. More than 4,000 churches a year die every year, but through replanting, they can live again. Today, Mark Clifton joins us to explain how. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church replanting is working with churches so that they don’t die or rescuing their resources if they do. 90% of SBC churches that clos...more

  • Nine Changes Churches Must Make Or Die – Rainer on Leadership #319

    Apr 14 2017

    Podcast Episode #319 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play A recent post on the urgency needed in many churches struck a nerve with many readers. Today, we unpack that post and talk about nine much needed changes for many churches. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We must be intentional about reaching people instead of depending on easy growth in the church. We cannot go into our holy huddles wanting church to be about ourselves. Comfort and stability w...more

  • Six Reasons for Increased Pastoral Tenure – Rainer on Leadership #318

    Apr 11 2017

    Podcast Episode #318 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Based on several research projects over the past two decades, it’s safe to say pastoral tenure is increasing. Today we look at six reasons behind this increase. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pastoral tenure has almost doubled over the past 20 years. Baby boomer pastors know that if they leave a church, it will be tougher to find another one because of their age. We are not seeing the “ladder ...more

  • The Importance of Church Facility Stewardship featuring Tim Cool – Rainer on Leadership #317

    Apr 07 2017

    Podcast Episode #317 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Nearly every church has a facility. But not every church stewards their facility well. Tim Cool joins us to discuss facility stewardship and how churches can save money on their facilities in the long run. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Everything on earth has been entrusted by God to us to care for. Stewardship in the church isn’t just about money. The expenses needed to take care of a facili...more

  • Pastoral Leadership, Prayer, and Church Health – Rainer on Leadership #316

    Apr 04 2017

    Podcast Episode #316 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play I recently spoke at a church in central Arkansas. What I discovered was a prayer ministry entering its 15th year. Here are my takeaways from the experience. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Prayer should fuel every ministry in a church. There tends to be less conflict when a church’s ministries are rooted in prayer. Praying churches are typically unified churches. Churches high on prayer and low...more

  • Six Warning Signs That a Church Has a Problem with Entitlement Mentality – Rainer on Leadership #315

    Mar 31 2017

    Podcast Episode #315 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Entitlement is a real problem in many churches. So today, we discuss warning signs you might see in a church that has a problem with entitlement mentality. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The pervasive force affecting the Millennial generation is entitlements. We are living in an entitled atmosphere, and it’s affecting our churches. One of the ways the church can be counter cultural is by havin...more

  • Introducing the Christian Standard Bible with Trevin Wax – Rainer on Leadership #314

    Mar 28 2017

    Podcast Episode #314 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Released just this month, the Christian Standard Bible is optimal point for accuracy and readability. Trevin Wax joins us to shed light on this new translation and highlights some of its unique characteristics. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When selecting a Bible, you shouldn’t have to choose between accuracy and readability. The CSB Translation team went through every verse and asked if it’s...more

  • Eight Easter-Related Church Trends – Rainer on Leadership #313

    Mar 24 2017

    Podcast Episode #313 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Easter is only three weeks away, so today we cover a few trends we are seeing in churches as we lead up to Resurrection Sunday. Also, we talk pants splitting, camels falling, and sets burning. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If your worship center is already at +70% capacity on Sundays, you might consider adding a service on Easter. Churches should be taking advantage of Facebook advertising fo...more

  • 12 Metrics for Church Assessment – Rainer on Leadership #312

    Mar 21 2017

    Podcast Episode #312 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Churches can measure so many things—giving, attendance, involvement and much more. But what should they measure? Today, we talk assessments, lead metrics, lag metrics, and how churches can more effectively assess what’s going on in their church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Try to do a secret guest survey at your church at least once a year. General attendance trends are a critical lag metri...more

  • Six Traits of Preacher Eater Churches – Rainer on Leadership #311

    Mar 17 2017

    Podcast Episode #311 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play I hear far too often about the very real problem of preacher eating churches. We cover six traits that are found in these churches and how to remedy them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Many times, church members are unaware that pastoral tenure is an issue in their church. There are bullies and power groups in nearly every church. Perpetual church conflict works against the Great Commission. ...more

  • Missions & Church Planting in North America, with Kevin Ezell – Rainer on Leadership #310

    Mar 14 2017

    Podcast Episode #310 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Kevin Ezell joins us to discuss trends in church planting, relief ministry, and missions in North America, as well as the Send North America Conference. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Church planting takes more than a planter. It takes a team. “Every believer is called to be on mission.” “There are needs to be met right in the shadow of our own steeple. But we don’t see them.” “Find a need. Me...more

  • Ten Ways Pastors Can Be Great Bosses – Rainer on Leadership #309

    Mar 10 2017

    Podcast Episode #309 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Regardless of the size of the church, the pastor typically has to manage a staff. They may be volunteers; they may be paid. So today, we cover ten traits pastors should develop as they manage their staff. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pastors need to have a compelling vision for their church. Good bosses will always be looking to build up those who work under them. If you want a certain behav...more

  • Ten Ways Pastors Can Be Terrible Bosses – Rainer on Leadership #308

    Mar 07 2017

    Podcast Episode #308 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Regardless of the size of the church, the pastor typically has to manage a staff. They may be volunteers; they may be paid. So today, we cover ten traits pastors should avoid as they manage their staff. Some highlights from today’s episode include: These principles can apply to any leader— not just pastors. Usually a pastor does not have time to micromanage staff constantly—it typically happens in bursts. Wh...more

  • Congregational Singing and the Pastor, Featuring Mark Dever – Rainer on Leadership #307

    Mar 03 2017

    Podcast Episode #307 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Mark Dever joins us on the podcast to talk congregational singing, politics, DC life, and ecclesiology. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “In the 1960’s church services started changing into rock concerts.” “I see too many churches get tied up in battles over music, which is a shame.” “Most pastors like good congregation singing when they hear it, but haven’t thought a lot about how to get it.” ...more

  • Congregational Singing with Keith & Kristyn Getty – Rainer on Leadership #306

    Feb 28 2017

    Podcast Episode #306 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Keith and Kristyn Getty stop by for a discussion on congregational singing and practical steps you can take in your church to help the congregation sing more. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Pastors who take congregational singing seriously will lead churches who take congregational singing seriously. “We are all called to sing and sing praises to God.” Kristyn Getty “So many people are spectat...more

  • 10 Questions to Diagnose the Evangelistic Health of Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #305

    Feb 24 2017

    Podcast Episode #305 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Evangelism in the church is waning, so today we cover 10 questions you can use to determine the evangelistic health of your church. Also, the “bee-line to the cross” quote is Spurgeon after all. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Relational evangelism without a gospel presentation is not really evangelism. Once you move people to an outward focus, they stop thinking about themselves as much. Many...more

  • The Disappearance of the 11:00 AM Sunday Service – Rainer on Leadership #304

    Feb 21 2017

    Podcast Episode #304 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play The post this podcast is based on really caused a stir. Today, we give a little more explanation as to the reasons the 11:00 AM worship service is disappearing and offer tips on changing your service time if needed. Some highlights from today’s episode include: When deciding what time to have a worship service, survey the church and the community. 11:00 AM is rarely, if ever, the preferred time for a church’...more

  • Four Essentials for Ministering to Men — Rainer on Leadership #303

    Feb 17 2017

    Podcast Episode #303 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Men’s ministry is lacking in many churches, so today we cover the four essentials churches should consider when launching or sustaining a men’s ministry. This episode is based on a blog post by Eric Geiger and walks you through these four essentials with practical application focused on ministering to men. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Every man needs godly men connecting him to the church. ...more

  • How to Respond When You’re Forced Out of a Church – Rainer on Leadership #302

    Feb 14 2017

    Podcast Episode #302 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Unfortunately, pastors and staff members are forced out of churches every week. It’s a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more. Today, we discuss how to respond when it happens to you. Some highlights from today’s episode include: For the sake of your family, you can’t have a victim mentality when you’re forced out of a church. If you’re forced out of a church, take care of your...more

  • How to Respond When a Staff Member Has an Affair – Rainer on Leadership #301

    Feb 10 2017

    Podcast Episode #301 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play This is an episode we hope churches won’t need to consult, but unfortunately many of them will. Extramarital affairs by pastors and staff are a reality and when it happens, churches need to be prepared. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Churches don’t prepare for this because churches don’t think they will need to be prepared for this. There’s this misunderstanding of grace sometimes where peopl...more

  • What to Include in a Visitor Welcome Packet and Other Listener Questions – Rainer on Leadership #300

    Feb 07 2017

    Podcast Episode #300 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play We celebrate episode 300 with cupcakes and listener questions. We cover everything from welcome packets to marketplace pastors to Bible Belt churches and refusing members or money. Some highlights from today’s episode include: It’s good to include member stories in your guest welcome packet to tell how God is moving in your church. You can have church bullies at any level—they can be lay leaders, staff membe...more

  • Leading Change in an Established Church, featuring Jimmy Scroggins – Rainer on Leadership #299

    Feb 03 2017

    Podcast Episode #299 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Jimmy Scroggins joins us again and leads us through the major changes he had to make at Family Church as well as what he learned in the process. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “Don’t waste a good crisis.” “When you have the crunch of a crisis, people give you more latitude to make hard decisions.” “The toughest change we had to make was cancelling the singing Christmas tree.” A multi-site str...more

  • Why Greeters Are Important in Getting Guests to Return – Rainer on Leadership #298

    Jan 31 2017

    Podcast Episode #298 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Greeters are important to the first impression your church makes with guests. So, today, we talk about where greeters should be, what they should do, and how to train them. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Every church may think they have greeters, but many actually don’t. If I led a church, I would have greeters in the parking lot. Door greeters are an extension of your church security because...more

  • Seven Questions to Ask When You’re Not Hired Near Unanimously – Rainer on Leadership #297

    Jan 27 2017

    Podcast Episode #297 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Unanimous votes are rare when pastors are hired. But what if the vote isn’t even close to unanimous? Well, on today’s podcast we discuss a recent post on how to respond when that happens. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Cases can be made both for and against secret ballot votes to call pastors and staff. A pastoral candidate’s age difference from the congregation average can lead to a less pos...more

  • Why Smaller Churches Are Going Multisite – Rainer on Leadership #296

    Jan 24 2017

    Podcast Episode #296 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Multisite used to be something only large churches tried. Now, smaller churches are getting in on the strategy. Today we discuss why this is a good thing for smaller churches to consider. Some highlights from today’s episode include: All things being equal, “new” reaches people more than “old.” You can start a new church/site/service and reach people you wouldn’t reach with an established church/site/servic...more

  • Six Statements That Could Kill a Church – Rainer on Leadership #295

    Jan 20 2017

    Podcast Episode #295 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play When you hear these statements often as a pastor, you should be concerned. These statements are often lead indicators of church death. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Evangelism should be an outgrowth of who we are in Jesus Christ. Evangelism is not necessarily a program or technique. It should be a way of life. When we give money as an offering to our church, we are saying “This is God’s mone...more

  • Marketplace Bivocational Ministry, featuring Jimmy Scroggins – Rainer on Leadership #294

    Jan 17 2017

    Podcast Episode #294 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Jimmy Scroggins returns to talk bivocational marketplace ministry and church-based ministry training. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If you’re going to reach every neighborhood, you’re going to need multiple models of church planting. The economics of urban church planting often do not work for the “launch large” model. “There are a lot of people in our churches who feel called to pastoral mi...more

  • How to Adjust When Church Giving Decreases – Rainer on Leadership #293

    Jan 13 2017

    Podcast Episode #293 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Last week we discussed how to respond when church giving increases. Today, we look at the other side of the coin—decreased giving. Unfortunately, of these too scenarios, this one is far more common. Some highlights from today’s episode include: You have to know why church giving has decreased before you can respond strategically. Pastors, be transparent with the staff when facing financial decline in the ch...more

  • How to Renew Evangelistic Growth in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #292

    Jan 10 2017

    Podcast Episode #292 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play In my trends for 2017, I mentioned an increased intentionality on evangelism in the church. Today, we look at five keys to evangelistic growth in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: The top 6% of evangelistic churches reach one person each year for every 20 in attendance. The author of salvation is God—not an evangelistic methodology or a program. What a pastor leads and makes importa...more

  • How to Adjust When Church Giving Increases – Rainer on Leadership #291

    Jan 06 2017

    Podcast Episode #291 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Today’s episode may be a dream for many church leaders. But often, more money for churches can lead to more problems for churches if not handled well. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Today’s podcast episode may be about the dream scenario for many pastors and churches. Faster growing churches tend to have lower per capita giving. Giving patterns of families often follow life stages, so determi...more

  • 10 Major Trends for Churches in 2017 – Rainer on Leadership #290

    Jan 03 2017

    Podcast Episode #290 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play At the beginning of each year, we predict trends to look for in the church during the coming year. Today we explain why I chose these ten trends for 2017. Some highlights from today’s episode include: In some ways, outreach and evangelism were easier in the past. A greater intentionality is needed today. The gospel does not change, but how we reach people with it does. If you don’t have a child protection p...more

  • 2016: A Look Back at Church Trends – Rainer on Leadership #289

    Dec 30 2016

    Podcast Episode #289 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play We look back at our trend predictions for 2016 and see how we fared. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Decreases in worship center size have much to do with the Millennial generation and their desire for community. Replanting and church acquisitions are becoming the preferred methods for successful church revitalization. When people move into gentrified communities, churches typically follow. Th...more

  • How to Kill an Ineffective Program or Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #288

    Dec 23 2016

    Podcast Episode #288 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Churches often find themselves with ministries that no longer fit their needs or the needs of those in the community. But pastors often struggle to eliminate them. Today, we discuss how to kill ineffective ministries to allow your church to be more efficient with time and money in ministry. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Most of our churches are too busy, and many have programs or ministries ...more

  • Multi-Site Church for the Rest of Us, featuring Jimmy Scroggins – Rainer on Leadership #287

    Dec 20 2016

    Podcast Episode #287 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Jimmy Scroggins joins us to tell the story of Family Church in West Palm Beach, FL, and how they have moved to a model of neighborhood churches. Some highlights from today’s episode include: If a church calls you as its pastor after not having one for five years, you were not at the top of their list. “We decided to abandon the regional megachurch strategy in favor of a network of neighborhood churches.” “O...more

  • The Painful Reality of Church Bully Cartels – Rainer on Leadership #286

    Dec 16 2016

    Podcast Episode #286 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Church bully cartels are a very real problem in too many churches. Today we look at cartels and how to confront them when they are present in your church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: We have too many Christians who choose to remain silent when faced with sin in the church. It’s a sin to be silent when God has called us to speak up against injustice. Christians are often hesitant to speak a...more

  • Six Surprising Insights Regarding Church Budgets and Salaries – Rainer on Leadership #285

    Dec 13 2016

    Podcast Episode #285 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Church budgets and staff salaries are sometimes sore subjects in churches. Today we examine six trends in church budgeting and salaries that affect churches of any size or denomination. Some highlights from today’s episode include: Growing churches typically have lower per capita giving than established churches. Having a large outside income at a church can discourage tithes and offerings from members. One...more

  • Invite Your One featuring Jeremy Roberts – Rainer on Leadership #284

    Dec 09 2016

    Podcast Episode #284 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Jeremy Roberts joins us to discuss the results of his church’s Invite Your One day. Invite Your One is an intentional high-attendance Sunday in which your church members are encouraged to invite others to church. Jeremy and his church saw remarkable results and today, he shares his story on the podcast. Through the end of the year, the Invite Your One program is on sale for 50% off the regular price. For mor...more

  • Worship and the Next Generation featuring Mark Hall – Rainer on Leadership #283

    Dec 06 2016

    Podcast Episode #283 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Mark Hall, founder of Casting Crowns, joins us to discuss worship, student ministry, and how he and Casting Crowns are rooted in their local church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “Student ministry is all about discipleship.” “My goal for a student when they graduate is that they have their own walk of faith, not their grandmother’s.” “Worship can very easily swing towards more of an experien...more

  • The Relationship Between a Pastor and Worship Leader featuring Jim Shaddix – Rainer on Leadership #282

    Dec 02 2016

    Podcast Episode #282 SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio • Google Play Jim Shaddix joins us to discuss what a healthy relationship between the pastor and worship leader looks like in the local church. Some highlights from today’s episode include: “One of the hardest things to do as a worship leader is to worship personally.” “The tough part of a pastor working with a worship pastor is when they don’t see eye to eye on worship practice.” “Worship leading should be a disciple-ma...more