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 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.

Ten Goofy Criticisms of Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #480

We asked our members at Church Answers for the wildest criticisms they had ever received. The answers did not disappoint.

Five Major “What If” We Regrets We Are Hearing from Churches – Rainer on Leadership #479

Regret often comes when it's too late to change things in a church. Today, we discuss five of the most common regrets we hear from churches.

Altar Calls, the Perfect Pastoral Work Week, and Other Listener Questions – Rainer on Leadership #478

We get a lot of questions here at Rainer on Leadership. Today, we take some time to talk about vacations with church members, altar calls, and the perfect pastoral work week.

The Six Characteristics of a Scrappy Church – Rainer on Leadership #477

My latest book, Scrappy Church, was written to offer hope to churches who think they may not have a future. God is not done with your church yet.

Seven Traits of a Healthy Church – Rainer on Leadership #476

We need healthy churches. I've committed my ministry to helping churches grow healthier. But what does a healthy church look like? Today, we discuss seven traits they exhibit.

Should a Church Pursue Legacy Giving? – Rainer on Leadership #475

Legacy giving, or inherited funds, is something that churches often do not pursue. Today we discuss why that's often a mistake and how to do so.

Sacred Cows to Be Aware of in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #474

We recently ran a Twitter poll to find out the most dealt with sacred cows in churches. The responses were both hilarious and worrisome.

Seven Reasons Why Writing Handwritten Notes Will Revolutionize Your Ministry – Rainer on Leadership #473

Handwritten notes are a lost art for many. Today, we discuss why they are so important and how you can use them to boost encouragement in your church and ministry.

Six Reasons Why Churches Continue to Get Immature Christians in Leadership Positions – Rainer on Leadership #472

Leadership in the church tends to fall to those who are either the loudest or who want it the most instead of who is spiritually mature enough to handle it. Today we explore why this happens and ho...

Why I’m Starting Revitalize Network – Rainer on Leadership #471

I recently announced the launch of Revitalize Network—a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on helping churches revitalize. Today, we discuss the details of the network and how you can join us.

A Look Back at My Time at LifeWay – Rainer on Leadership #470

With my upcoming retirement from LifeWay, we take time to look back on my 13 years as president. We discuss the challenges, the wins, the fun times, and the walk on the beach that changed the cours...

Five Types of Infrequent Attendees – Rainer on Leadership #469

Declining attendance isn't as much of an issue in churches as declining frequency of attendance. Today we discuss those who miss frequently and how to solve that.

Five Key Reasons Churches Become More Unified – Rainer on Leadership #468

Church unity is an issue in many churches. Fighting, gossip, and bullying can really play havoc on unity. Today, we discuss why and how churches can become more unified.

How to Say No to Church Members – Rainer on Leadership #467

Pastors often fall into the trap of being people pleasers. Today, we discuss why and how you can say no to requests or even demands from church members.

Why Staff Issues Are Among the Most Painful Church Issues – Rainer on Leadership #466

Church staffing can be tricky in today's churches. On this episode we discuss reasons church staffing issues can hurt a church and how to deal with them.

Why Poor Discipleship Is Such a Big Issue in Many Churches – Rainer on Leadership #465

Discipleship is something churches say they do, but also something they don't always really understand. Today we explain why.

Your Church Has Been Offered a Facility…Now What? – Rainer on Leadership #464

Tim Cool joins us to discuss facility management and why a free building could be the most expensive building your church has.