Dan-Reiland-headshotHave you ever opened your refrigerator and said with passion, “Whoa, what IS that smell? I have and it’s no fun. I quickly launch a breath-holding expedition to find the source of the foul smell that is making everything stink too.

We don’t just leave it there do we? We get rid of it. We agree that it’s unacceptable and do something about it.

There are things that can make your leadership team or staff “smell bad” too.

I call them the foul four. I recently checked my thinking by doing quick interviews with a half dozen “bosses” of church staff asking the question: “What are the characteristics of staff you like the least?  The four held steady.

They are:

  • Excuse makers
  • Complaint givers
  • Negative thinkers
  • Entitlement believers

Notice that all four are attitudes, not skills. That’s a major insight!

It is also insightful that I don’t need to write a paragraph about each one. I could, but you already know exactly what each one means and you can name people you know that fit in each category. The question is, will you allow that on your team?

The good news, though we are all susceptible to at least one of these, we don’t have to live in any of them. I know which one is my weakness, so I watch for it. By being aware I’m in the game to intentionally not live there. Yes, I might slip, hopefully very briefly, and then quickly rise above.

Attitude is always a choice. In fact, Paul writes in Philippians 2:5 that we should have the same attitude as Jesus! If that seems impossible, the Holy Spirit will help you.

I trust there is a leadership fragrance about you and your team that draws people toward you. And if something “smells” bad, you will do something about it.

Dan Reiland is executive pastor of 12Stone Church® in Lawrenceville, Ga., listed in Outreach magazine as the No. 1 fastest-growing church in America in 2010. He has worked closely with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as executive pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as vice president of leadership and church development at INJOY. His semimonthly e-newsletter, The Pastor's Coach, is distributed to more than 40,000 subscribers. Dan is the author of Amplified Leadership, released in January 2012.

For the original article, visit

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Pastors, do you see anything familiar on this list?

    10 Habits You Should Think About Dropping

    If you recognize these patterns in yourself, take an inventory.

  • Life.Church is at it again with its ever-expanding free technology.

    Life.Church Open Network Launches to Further Equip Church Leaders

    Life.Church adds to a decade of generosity by expanding its free resources.

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Peace is indeed attainable in this selfish world. Just look for it in the right place.

    Finding Peace in a Fallen and Selfish World

    You can have peace in this world. Just stop looking in the wrong places.

  • Praying for leaders

    Failing to Do This Can Spell Disaster for the Church

    And it has the potential to destroy many lives.

  • Church members argue

    12 Reasons Church Staff Conflict May Arise

    This is not unique, but among these there are some that seem more pervasive than others.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders