Dan Reiland is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in the Lawrenceville suburb of Atlanta. Before beginning his ministry at 12Stone, he spent two decades partnering with John Maxwell at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego and as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. Dan is a wealth of knowledge for pastors who want to know more about leading effectively in their ministries and personal lives.
In this episode, we’re talking with Dan about what a healthy church culture looks like. He offers a host of practical steps for creating a thriving church environment and how to prepare a succession plan when the time is right. Dan’s advice to pastors about where to turn and what to do when you know you’re in an unhealthy place is full of compassion and wisdom. There are so many truths waiting to be heard today—I can’t wait for you to listen!
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1) To create a thriving church, you’ve got to start where people are and meet them with the Gospel. One of the first things you can do is foster a spirit of grace and kindness that permeates your church culture: squash divisiveness, judgment, and discontent.
2) Our culture is hungry for God right now. People are desperately searching for peace over anxiety, truth over opinion, and joy over anger. The great news is that you have those things! Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), and your church can be the place where people can find Him.
3) When you’re weary, there are things you can do to relieve stress. Don’t try to walk this journey alone. Talk to a trusted coach, friend, or counselor, develop healthy “relief valves,” take steps to gain margin in your life, and stop chasing people who don’t want to be pursued. Put your energy where it needs to go.
4) When creating a succession plan, it’s important to be strategic. To hand your ministry off to someone else, you need to choose someone who can lead your congregation into the future, and then be crystal clear with everyone about your intentions and why this is a positive thing.
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