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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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. 

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...

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. 

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.