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Ministry Leadership

10 Enemy Attacks on Leaders

Attack enemyFor more than 15 years, I have studied the biblical reality of spiritual warfare. Many of my writings (e.g., Discipled Warriors, Putting on the Armor) address this topic that evangelicals have often neglected. I regret that evangelicals have been afraid of this topic because the enemy is nevertheless real.

Recently, a church leader asked me what tactics I’ve seen the enemy most use against leaders. In no particular order, here are the 10 most common strategies I’ve seen.

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Word-Wrangling: A New Rodeo Event for Preachers?

Elated-pastorI’m not sure most of us preachers fully believe the scriptural command to avoid word fights:

“Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers” (2 Tim. 2:14, NASB).

After all, aren’t some words worth wrangling over?

“Wrangling about words” conjures images of cowboys at the corral trying to tame a bucking theological term that won’t hold still.

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Why Leaders Need to Keep Growing Too

Dan-Reiland-headshotIf you love to learn, improve and grow, think back on who helped to ignite that fire within you.

A mentor in my late teen years, Ray Crowell, was the first person to inspire me to grow as a person. He taught me to think, and he challenged my thinking. From philosophy to human nature—oh yeah, and girls—we talked about everything. My world became larger because of Ray.

John Maxwell is my longtime friend and mentor in life and leadership. I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary thinking I was ready to pastor and lead. Little did I know—and it’s a good thing John was there. From attitude to relationships, he poured into me as a young leader. My life would never be the same.

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How to Plan Your Preaching More Effectively

Greg-AtkinsonEverywhere I go, I hear that song playing. It’s on TV, radio, at ball games, in convenient stores—all over.

It’s gotten stuck in my head. So I started thinking on the title and reflecting on past experiences and conversations.

I started thinking about how many pastors stay up late Saturday night working on their Sunday morning message, hoping to get “lucky.” Hoping they will deliver and come through with excellence. Friends, it doesn’t work like that.

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Artie Davis: The Winner, the Whiner and the Wayward

Artie-Davis-blog“They have eyes, and yet they don’t see.”

Many leaders don’t see the fruit that is about to manifest in those around them. All they can see is the tree. A tree can look strong, weak, ugly or handsome, but that’s just the tree. The real test is what will it put forth.

Especially in a small town, I’ve found there are three kinds of people (trees) that I have to constantly be on the lookout for in order for our church to go where God intends it to go. They are:

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7 Casualties of a People-Pleaser in Leadership

I-am-the-bossLeadership is hard and every decision a leader makes is subject to opinion—lots of different opinions. Every hard decision a leader makes excites some and upsets others. At the same time, most of us who have positions of leadership want people to like us personally and in our role as a leader.

That leads many leaders into becoming victims of people pleasing. When we fall prey to pleasing people as a goal, we seldom lead people into what is best and are led more by opinion polls than vision.

Every pastor and leader I know agrees that people pleasing is not a good quality for a leader. Talking with hundreds of pastors every year, however, I’d have to say that this has to be one of the most frequent weaknesses pastors admit to me. For the pastor, when our aim is to please people, many times we are motivated more by what people want than even what God wants for the church. That’s dangerous. Hopefully I don’t have to build that case.

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