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.

Six Reasons Why Churches Should Not Abandon the Boomer Generation – Rainer on Leadership #545


The Baby Boomer generation, one of America's largest generations, has shaped our churches for the past 75 years. Today, we discuss how to better reach them as they entire retirement.
Jun-14-2019

Five Intriguing Updates on Gen Z and Churches – Rainer on Leadership #544


America's next generation, Gen Z, is starting to influence and shape the church. Today, we look at five specific characteristics of this generation and how they are influencing the church.
Jun-11-2019

Six Unique Additions Some Churches Have Made to Their Worship Services – Rainer on Leadership #543


Corporate worship is stale in many churches. These six additions can help re-engage your members during corporate worship and spur them to further ministry.
Jun-07-2019

Six Cultural Pastoral Issues Where Pastors Often Struggle – Rainer on Leadership #542


Pastors are faced with different ethical and moral issues in society on an almost daily basis. Today we highlight six major cultural issues facing pastors and churches today.
Jun-04-2019

10 Main Reasons People Leave the Church – Rainer on Leadership #541


Churches lose members and attendees for a variety of reasons. Some good. Many not. Today, we review a recent blog post on the most common reasons people leave the church.
May-31-2019

Update on the Early Launches of Pray and Go – Rainer on Leadership #540


When Pray and Go launched earlier this year, we were excited about the potential it had for creating an outward focus in churches. The early reports are strong indicators that this is happening in ...
May-28-2019

Five Ways to Lead Your Groups to Become Outwardly Focused – Rainer on Leadership #539


Groups are one of the most important factors in getting people to stick with a church. The community that is built in groups helps your church members become more well-rounded disciples.
May-24-2019

Facility Crises and How Churches Are Responding – Rainer on Leadership #538


Almost every church has some kind of facility issue. From being too big or not big enough, facilities rarely match the pace of a church's growth or decline.
May-21-2019

New Patterns in Ministry Training – Rainer on Leadership #537


How ministers are trained has radically changed over the past few decades thanks mainly to the rise of digital training. Today, we discuss these changes and where they might be headed.
May-17-2019

Hiring Several Part-time Staff Rather Than One Full-time Staffer – Rainer on Leadership #536


The way churches hire staff is changing. Today we begin a three-part series on emerging trends in the church with a discussion on church staffing.
May-14-2019

What Pastors Need to Do When They Are Deeply Hurt – Rainer on Leadership #535


Pastors often are hurt by church members or church circumstances. Today we discuss how to deal with this hurt and why you shouldn't just throw in the towel at the first sign of hurt.
May-10-2019

Seven Key Ways to Alleviate the Pain of Low Attendance Days – Rainer on Leadership #534


Low attendance days happen in the life of every church. While they are often unavoidable, you can potentially improve them and make them fewer and farther between.
May-07-2019

Reaching the Nominally Churched – Rainer on Leadership #533


After discussing who the nominally churched are in the last episode, today we focus on how to reach them.
May-03-2019

Understanding the Nominally Churched – Rainer on Leadership #532


To reach the nominally churched and to get them more involved in church, you must first understand them. Today we discuss who the nominally churched are before we discuss how to reach them in the n...
Apr-30-2019

Six Common Reasons Pastors Lose Their Temper – Rainer on Leadership #531


With the criticisms pastors get, it can be easy to have a quick temper. Today, we discuss reasons for losing your temper so that pastors may recognize them and better deal with them.
Apr-26-2019

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