Episode 42 - Dan Reiland Talks Amplified Leadership Part 3... and says "Go Be Normal Christians In The Community!"
Today's podcast is Part 3 of our conversation with Dan Reiland, around his book, Amplified Leadership. This podcast covers chapters 5 & 6, which talk about 1) inviting people into meaningful ministry and 2) training them for ministry success. Dan is the Executive Pastor of 12Stone Church, just outside Atlanta, GA.
Dan, in his book, encourages us as small church pastors to make the most of the asking experience, when we invite a person into what he terms "meaningful ministry". He gives us five components of a compelling invitation:
We hope that this podcast will do the same!
I actually thought of leaving it with just that one word – “me.” Yeah, a one word blog post. Kind of appealing, actually. If you were honest, I bet you would have the same answer to that question – “What is your biggest leadership challenge?”
This is the last week of the month, and so this week on the podcast we have Part 3 of our conversation with none other than The Pastor’s Coach himself, Dan Reiland. We talk about a number of local church leadership issues in this podcast that will be sure to challenge you in one or more areas of your 200church leadership.
Part 3 is based on chapters 5 & 6 of Dan’s book, Amplified Leadership – 5 Practices To Establish Influence, Build People, and Impact Others For A Lifetime. If you don’t have this book, we encourage you to pick it up on Amazon, either in paper or on Kindle. The principles in this book fit very well with the leadership challenges of 200church pastors.
Back to my biggest leadership challenge - me. If I could control what I do every day, I could control my destiny. Sounds easy enough, right? Sure thing. All I need is discipline. John Maxwell said “The secret of your success is found in your daily agenda – what you do every day.” Isn’t that the truth! But isn’t that also the problem? Because –
So – what is the answer? Well, if I had the answer (other than what the 482 ministry leadership books already written say) I could, as they say, make a lot of money! I know this – part of the answer is to 1) Be truthful about our struggles and challenges, and 2) Stay in the game.
Be honest with one other leader you trust, and who cares about you unconditionally. We need another we can be totally open and vulnerable with! Oh yes we do! Too many pastors are on the solo route, avoiding that personal, fully transparent, face to face encounter with rationalization after rationalization. As Bob Neuhart said, “Stop it! Just stop it!” Make it happen – if you are having problems, get help. Do. It. Now.
And, for the Kingdom’s sake, stay in the game! Don’t quit. Take time off, go on a retreat, sleep in, get counseling… but stay in the game. It’s always too soon to quit. (I know, I know, hyperbole yes, but you get my point…)
So, are you your greatest ministry leadership challenge? Don’t quit, and seek out someone you can talk to. Ministry leaders fail in isolation and loneliness. Don’t be that woman or man. If you’re going to be your greatest ministry leadership challenge – then also be your greatest ministry leadership asset to meet that challenge.
We’re looking forward to meeting you on Wednesday’s podcast, Episode 42 – with Dan “the Man” Reiland.
Dan Reiland Part 1 Episode 33
Dan Reiland Part 2 Episode 37
Happy Friday from Jeff and Jonny at 200churches! We have spent the week talking about the bigness of small church ministry, and we will end the week talking about it.
Do you think that the smaller sites of a multi-site megachurch have inferiority complexes because they are smaller? Ever consider if the staff in the larger venues struggle with pride because their site has more people? Ever wonder if the leaders of the smaller worship venues in a church with multiple services ever stew because another venue with a different worship style or service time is attracting more people?
Yeah, us neither. We’re too worried about how many people are in our small church, or how many are in the church across town. We may be wondering why our church is not growing as fast as Mark’s or Susan’s or Bill’s.
Do we spend the same amount of time concerning ourselves with our walk with God? Or, the spiritual growth of our people? Or, the poor, orphan, or widow in our community? Wow, talk about a guilt trip! Let’s change direction before this plane hits a mountain…
Are you ever glad for the small church you pastor? In the part of our conversation this week with Karl Vaters that did not get recorded, we talked about the following dynamics in larger churches:
Karl told us about his friend’s church of 3,000 people that had multiple sites, multiple venues, and multiple services. He said that in that church of 3,000 no group ever met for worship with more than about 350 people. Some of the services had 50 people in them! Listen, in a church of 3,000, some services have 50 people!
Now, how do you feel about your church of 50? Pretty good, we hope. What if the ten churches in your community that total 3,000 people pretend you are just one big church in your town and that each of the buildings are just another “site”. Yeah, so there, what if?! Now how do you feel about your church of 100?
Do you see how it’s all so relative – size of congregation?
Finally, what do the big churches have to do – break themselves down into smaller groups so that they can do ministry effectively. Yes, it’s called, multi-site, multiple venues, multiple services, etc. In fact, so many churches have what we call “small groups” so that they can do life together. Something they can’t do on a Sunday morning in the bigger crowd, whether that’s 40 or 40,000.
So you see, having a small church simply means you can do ministry with people and cut out the part about breaking everyone into smaller groups. Get to know the other pastors in your town, all of them, and just make pretend they are all on your staff and pastoring the other sites in your multi-site church!
Enjoy your small church ministry. It’s the only kind of ministry Jesus ever did. Your leadership and shepherding matter HUGE in your 200church.
Comment below on just one thing you like about pastoring a small church...
This week on Episode 41 of the 200churches Podcast Jonny and I welcome back Karl Vaters. Karl is the pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, CA, the founder of NewSmallChurch.com, and the author of The Grasshopper Myth - Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us.
Karl joins us today to talk about his visit to Croatia. A friend of a friend of a friend ended up reading Karl's book and realizing how much the small church pastors (they're all small churches!) in Croatia would benefit from Karl's message. He was invited, and in September he was able to travel there and speak in three different churches in Croatia, as well as with some chaplains at an American Army base in Germany.
Where is Croatia? Glad you asked... It is one of six nations that used to be known together as Yugoslavia.
Karl was challenged by the faith of the people he met with and ministered to, and his heart broke when he realized what the church growth emphasis coming from America has done to their confidence as small churches and small church pastors.
In the wrap up to the podcast, Jeff talks about a part of their conversation that did not make it onto the recording, where Karl spoke about his friend's church. It is a church of 3,000 - that has multiple locations, venues, and service times. So this church never has a crowd of more than 350 meeting in any one place at any one time. This large church has to become a number of small churches in order to accomplish ministry most effectively! Now when you hear them talking about, you'll know the context.
If you do not have Karl's book, The Grasshopper Myth, send us an email - we have a few copies and we will send you one as long as they last. (see our Contact tab at the top of this web page) - or, buy your's from Amazon by clicking on the picture below.
Karl has a great website for small church pastors! Check it out and be sure to click on the "Start Here" tab at the top.
We hope you are encouraged as a small church pastor by listening to this episode!
My (Jeff) first pastoral ministry position was in a small town called Factoryville. No, I didn’t misspell it – it was Factoryville. Don’t worry, the name grows on you. After a while it sounds as attractive as Hollywood. Well, okay, not really, but anyway…
I took a church that had just lost a building to a fire, and a pastor to a larger full-time position. We met in a Borough Hall. (that’s pig Latin for “town hall” – no offense to pigs) My wife and I attended this church before I became the pastor and our ministry was to teach Children’s Church in the lower level. Do you feel me when I say “lower level”? Read dungeon. Really. Actually dungeon is generous. You could only get newlyweds addicted to ministry to serve in a space like that!
Our days in the Borough Hall were numbered so we bought the old town library, which was a jail before that, I think back in the 1800’s or at least during Bonnie and Clyde. I think they were actually held there for a while in the 30’s. But we bought the building, and I got my friend, whose name I don’t remember now, to remodel it for us. What a hoot! What was I thinking?
When we had finished the remodel, the first floor was the “auditorium” and when we set up all the chairs we had, and took up every space we could in the 25’x31’ room, we sat 50 people! I had my college president come and preach, we had 50 people that morning, and he wondered what we were going to do to make more room. Can I tell you? Back then, in 1988, we never imagined scheduling a second service.
In that room, 50 people was packing out the house! It was an enormous crowd! Downstairs in the, get it, the, Sunday School room, a dozen people was a world record… for our Factoryville church.
One Sunday night for our evening service I had two people show up, and one was a visitor. I welcomed them, and we had church. I even preached the message I had prepared. I never saw that visitor again, because in that context, three was definitely not a crowd! But he did stay until the end of the message. Shock makes people do strange things.
For many churches, 100 people would be considered a very, very small group of people. For other churches, 100 would be a banner day. For still other churches 1,000 people would be a terrible Sunday. In every one of those churches, each person sits with one other person, or a few other people in a group, and they worship, whether there’s 50 or 5,000. Small is relative, large is relative. But JESUS is our common Lord, Savior, and Friend!
No matter the size of your church, or the terrible or beautiful name of your town, your pastoral leadership and love for your people is paramount. Love the 5 or love the 5,000. Apples and oranges yes, but they are both fruit, and fruit is what Jesus told us to look for. He told us to make disciples of all ethnic groups, baptize them, and teach them to obey him. Whether we do that in a big group or small matters not a bit.
This week on the 200churches Podcast Jonny and I welcome back Karl Vaters. Karl is the pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, CA, the founder of NewSmallChurch.com, and the author of The Grasshopper Myth - Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us.
Karl is a pitbull in defense of small churches and small church pastors. He is rabidly committed to the local church, as in the people and the pastor. Karl spent most of September away from his California church, ministering in Europe. Some people got a hold of his book, The Grasshopper Myth, and he went over and taught them that they can love their small churches – and he is going to tell us all about it!
Karl knows that small is quite relative and inconsequential when it comes to Kingdom ministry. Jonny and I are looking forward to talking with him, and sharing that conversation with YOU! The 200churches Podcast is released on iTunes and Stitcher, and on our 200churches.com site every Wednesday at 12:01AM.
Here is Karl's first conversation with us on the 200churches Podcast.
Below: Karl preaching in Croatia. Begins at 36:00.
Thankfully, there will be no need for a translator on episode 41 of the 200churches Podcast. Just us English speaking pastor types! Looking forward to Wednesday...
Let us begin with the end in mind… Whatever values we want to have in abundance in our church, must first be self-evident in us. It’s the old “practice what you preach” scenario. If we practice what we preach, those we lead will really believe what we’re preaching and be much more willing to give it a shot in their own lives.
The easiest principles, truths, and subjects for us to preach on are the ones we live out, and we know we live out. Conversely, the areas where we struggle most, we likely don’t deal with much in our preaching. That is natural, and mostly proper. The alternative is hypocrisy. Or, we start working on those areas, and preach in the tension of our growth.
Years ago I heard John Maxwell say that if he got to a Bible passage that he knew he wasn't living out in his own life, he would bring in a guest speaker to deal with that passage or subject. There is something honorable about that. But more importantly, there is something wise in a person who can recognize the difference! Can you and I even recognize the areas in our lives that are not congruent with the teachings of Jesus?
So, back to values. What values do you want to be descriptive of your church family? Are those very values descriptive of you? That’s the secret to church health and growth – alignment between what we teach, preach, and promote in our church – and what we live out in our actions and attitudes. Once there is that alignment, then movement and progress pick up real momentum. Because it’s natural, organic, and healthy.
Do you want your church to be
You see, it really is that easy. It takes time for a church to “catch” the qualities of its leader(s), but given enough time, churches generally take on the characteristics and values of their leader(s). Therefore, in order to change your church, you must start with YOU.
Forgive me, but can I quote Mahatma Gandhi who said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” In this case, in your church! In order to change your church, change you. If you want your church culture to evidence a certain quality or character – you evidence it first. Paul said this to the Philippians: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” He was basically saying, you watch me, then put into practice what you see. Like Dan Reiland said a few weeks ago on the podcast, “leaders go first!”
We love you pastors of 200churches all around our country and world! Your leadership, love, and vision for your people is so insanely crucial to the Kingdom of God. Go for it! Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are “small”, but be an example to all the other churches in preaching, ministry, love, and purity. And pastor… you go first!
Next Week - Pastor Karl Vaters from NewSmallChurch.com will join us and talk about his ministry in Europe last month, how small church pastors in eastern Europe are thinking about ministry, and what we can learn from them!
Here is our conversation with our friend Jim Powell. This episode is a little longer than most, but we couldn't cut out any more content - Jim gives 200church pastors some great stuff to think about. Links to Jim and his resources are below the video.
This video is a trailer for his new book, Dirt Matters. Watch it before you listen to the podcast, then everything we talk about will make more sense. Again, all the links for Jim are below the video.
This is a special Tuesday Preview Post to prepare you for tomorrow’s podcast! Wow!
I just finished editing the podcast for this week, which means I also just finished listening through the entire conversation. This is the very interview Jonny and I did with Jim Powell – I mean, I was there, an eye witness. But I just learned so much by listening to the three of us talk, just like you will tomorrow, as a third party listening in on our conversation.
Episode 40 of the 200churches Podcast is a great one that will challenge you and encourage you as you lead and pastor YOUR 200church!
To really whet your appetite though, take a look at this short video from Jim Powell, founder of the 95Network and lead pastor of Richwoods Christian Church, as he introduces the background of his book, Dirt Matters, to you.
This is so cool, because it is also a great introduction to our podcast tomorrow. The podcast will make more sense to you if you watch this 3 minute video. This is good stuff and Jim’s message will help you as you lead your 200church!
Here it is…
This week on the 200churches Podcast we talk with our friend Jim Powell, the Lead Pastor of Richwoods Christian Church in Peoria, Il. There’s an old saying in politics – “How will it play in Peoria?” Well, Jim Powell has learned how to play and pastor in Peoria! We are talking to him about the importance of our church culture, that we understand it, know how it affects the fruitfulness of our church, and learn how to shape it intentionally.
Jonny and Jeff talk to Jim about his book, Dirt Matters – The Foundation for a Healthy, Vibrant, and Effective Congregation. Here is a quote from one of the first chapters…
The issue is that every church has a unique culture that serves as the soil where its ministry occurs. A church’s culture is the somewhat nebulous and complex blend of norms, beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and practices that define the congregation. The culture establishes the environment that often predetermines the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of God’s Word within that body of believers. It influences a congregation’s potential impact more than techniques, programs, or pragmatic changes.
This conversation with Jim, and his book, go beyond painting the lobby, changing the church name, or introducing a new music style. His book cuts to the heart of the church, what makes it tick, what is the passion of the people, what are the values that live within the congregation, and how do those values express themselves in the life of the congregation?
Think about your 200church. What are the top three values of your church? But before you answer too quickly, remember, each value you list has to have corresponding anecdotal evidence that it is truly owned and lived out in the life of the congregation.
If you say, we care about people, can you give concrete illustrations where caring for people has occurred?
If you say, God’s Word is our authority, can you give an example of when your people changed something in their lives or church because they learned something in God’s Word?
If you say, outreach is our mission, who can you list as people you have reached out to in recent weeks or months? (they don’t even have to go to your church, just who have you actually reached out to, and how?)
Jim compares dirt, or real soil, to the culture that a church grows in. He says that if our culture is right, things will grow. He has an interesting way to explain how each church should go about learning and shaping its culture.
Between now and Wednesday, work on discovering the top three values your church really holds. It's harder that you first think. We are excited to share this podcast episode with you!
We started the week saying it’s all about relationships, friendships, and partnerships in ministry. In fact, we have been singing this song for two weeks now. Yes, we all need relationships to make it in ministry. We need support. We need encouragement. We need friends. But…
What about others like us? What about pastors in our area, or pastors who we know, that just might be dying on the vine? What if we turned the tables on ourselves and thought about others who might need the very same things as they pastor their 200church?
As we close out this week, we would like to ask you to think of others, and specifically think of someone by name – a real pastor, who could benefit from your phone call or email. A man or woman in ministry who needs the encouragement you could gift to them today or tomorrow – who are they? What is their name?
It’s not what you do that is so important, it’s that you do something! We’re on the same team, and sometimes we need an “Attaboy!” or “Attagirl!”. Sometimes we need that pat on the back or shot in the arm to carry us further down the field.
In more than one place in the New Testament (in fact, in four places) we are commanded to “encourage one another.” So we call you to do just that this weekend!
Answer these three questions:
Who am I going to encourage? _________________________
How will I encourage them? ___________________________
When will I encourage them? __________________________
Don’t forget to KISS it! Keep It Simple Stupid! Don’t make a building project out of it like us pastors are prone to do. Don't make it so complicated - that's when we never get to it. Just do it. Encourage another pastor this weekend.
Now, comment and tell us what you are going to do to encourage another 200church pastor this weekend…
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