Rainer On Leadership Podcast

Rainer on Leadership is your online home for leadership lessons for the local church. This twice-weekly podcast provides practical training on important issues for church leaders and pastors. Rainer on Leadership is a production of LifeWay Christian Resources. For more information, visit ThomRainer.com.

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


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.
Apr-23-2019

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


Dying churches often exhibit symptoms of dying along the way. Today we cover seven of these symptoms and how to combat them.
Apr-19-2019

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


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 highlight a new related video res...
Apr-16-2019

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


It sounds paradoxical, but some churches will see overall growth in attendance while their giving decreases. How is this possible? Today we explain.
Apr-12-2019

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


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.
Apr-09-2019

Nine Thoughts on Church Splits – Rainer on Leadership #525


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.
Apr-05-2019

When to Discontinue a Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #524


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.
Apr-02-2019

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


There are often certain characteristics found in pastors who are effective preachers. Today, we discuss seven of those characteristics.
Mar-29-2019

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


Some church fights actually are fading. Today we discuss those and the reasons why they are fading.
Mar-26-2019

Four Thoughts on Ordination – Rainer on Leadership #521


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.
Mar-22-2019

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


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.
Mar-19-2019

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


Churches can sometimes make unwise decisions when it comes to building facilities. Today we cover seven of them and how to avoid them.
Mar-15-2019

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


We constantly hear from pastors wanting to see prayer increase in their churches. The secret to becoming a praying church is to...pray.
Mar-12-2019

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


Stewardship is important for churches, and to increase stewardship, you have to be intentional about it and you have to resource it well.
Mar-08-2019

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


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.
Mar-05-2019

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


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.
Mar-01-2019

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


More people often means more problems. And that is the case with megachurches when it comes to finding pastors.
Feb-26-2019

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


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.
Feb-22-2019

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


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.
Feb-19-2019

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


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.
Feb-15-2019

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


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.
Feb-08-2019

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


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.
Feb-05-2019

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


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.
Feb-01-2019

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


When pastors leave the pastorate, they inevitably miss certain things about pastoring. Today, we discuss the five we hear most frequently.
Jan-29-2019

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


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.
Jan-25-2019

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


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.
Jan-22-2019

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


Worship attendance swings can be dramatic in local churches. Today we discuss why that is and how to combat it.
Jan-18-2019

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


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.
Jan-15-2019

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


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.
Jan-11-2019

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


We celebrate episode 500 with donuts and a discussion on why churches are really cranking up their intentional outreach this year.
Jan-08-2019

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


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.
Jan-04-2019

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


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.
Jan-01-2019

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


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.
Dec-28-2018

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


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.
Dec-21-2018

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


We've found that many pastors are forced out unknowingly by churches. Today, we cover five ways your church may unknowingly be pushing your pastor away.
Dec-18-2018

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


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.
Dec-14-2018

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


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.
Dec-11-2018

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


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.
Dec-07-2018

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


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.
Dec-04-2018

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


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.
Nov-30-2018

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


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.
Nov-27-2018

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


Mike Harland joins us to answer one of the biggest questions in church worship services today: why is it so loud?
Nov-23-2018

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


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.
Nov-20-2018

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


Honeymoons always end. There are somethings 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.
Nov-16-2018

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


Data shows pastoral tenure is increasing. Today we examine why more pastorates are reaching double digit tenure. 
Nov-13-2018

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


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 a...
Nov-09-2018

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


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. 
Nov-06-2018

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


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.
Nov-02-2018