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.

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. 

What to Do If You Desire Excellence in the Church, but You Are Not Seeing It – Rainer on Leadership #463

Many churches aspire to excellence, but unfortunately many of them miss the mark. Today we discuss how to excel in your church.

Eight Ways Church Members Can Help Pastors Avoid Burnout — Rainer on Leadership #462

Burnout is a real issue for many, and pastors are not exempt. Today we discuss how church members can help their pastor avoid it.

Why Some Interim Pastorates Are Successful When Others Are Not – Rainer on Leadership #461

Pastoral transition happens all the time. Today we discuss what makes for a successful interim pastorate and how InterimPastor.University can help.

Five Major Ways to Improve Your Worship Services – Rainer on Leadership #460

There are several things you can do in worship services to improve the experience for guests and members. Today we discuss five such things—four of which cost nothing.

Why People Don’t Invite Others to Church – Rainer on Leadership #459

A recent LifeWay Research study reported on the invite habits of American churchgoers. Today, we examine the results and discuss how to correct the problems.

Problems Churches Face When They Don’t Have a Pastor – Rainer on Leadership #458

William Vanderbloemen joins us to discuss the problems churches often face when they are pastorless.

Why Digital Giving Options Are Vital for the Financial Health of Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #457

If churches want the next generation of members to give to their full potential, digital giving options are a must. Today, we explain why.

Nine Key Statistical Insights from Churches in 2018 – Rainer on Leadership #456

Tony Morgan joins us to discuss statistical trends he's finding in churches today and what those trends can mean for your church in the future.

The Value of Women in the Workplace and the Rise of Working from Home – Rainer on Leadership #455

Shannon Miles joins us today to discuss her new book, The Third Option, and the rise of working from home.

Eight Warning Signs Your Church Is Drifting from God’s Mission – Rainer on Leadership #454

Is your church aligned with God's intended mission for her? A post by Sam Rainer serves as the basis of today's discussion on warning signs that you might be drifting from God's mission.

Seven Reasons People Give More to Their Church – Rainer on Leadership #453

Money is a subject too many pastors avoid—but they shouldn't. It's important to preach and teach on biblical stewardship. Today we explain seven ways that can lead to increased giving.

Top Ten Ways Churches Drive Away First-time Guests – Rainer on Leadership #452

Guest friendliness has been a constant theme on this blog and podcast over the past few years. There's even a book that came out of these discussions. Today, we look at a classic post on the subjec...

Five Consequences of the Pending Retirement of Boomer Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #451

Every single day, 1,000 Boomers are hitting retirement age. This includes Boomer pastors. Today we discuss the consequences of this reality and also highlight why many are choosing Interim Pastor U...

Five Future Developments Coming to the Church – Rainer on Leadership #450

Churches of the future will have many of the same components of churches today, but there are changes that will take place. Today, we cover five of those changes.

Six Considerations for Selecting Mission Partners – Rainer on Leadership #449

Churches are asked often to help fund or partner in missions. Today, we discuss how to make those decisions thanks to a post by Sam Rainer.

Why People Leave a Church – Rainer on Leadership #448

A recent study by LifeWay Research showed that 15% of church members have considered leaving their church in the past six months. Today, we discuss why.

Seven Ways to Adapt to Changes in Church Attendance – Rainer on Leadership #447

Jim Sheppard, CEO of Generis, joins us today to talk about a new, free eBook (The Big Shift) and to discuss how your church can best adapt to the changing patterns in church member attendance.

How to Deal With an Angry Church Member – Rainer on Leadership #446

I get asked this question on nearly a daily basis. Pastors from all over are wanting to know how to deal with angry church members.

Four Steps for Dealing with a #MeToo Moment in Your Church – Rainer on Leadership #445

Josh Bryant, the Church Law Guru, joins us to discuss how your church can prepare for and respond to a #MeToo accusation.

Six Ways the #MeToo Movement Has Affected Local Church Life – Rainer on Leadership #444

Sexual abuse in the Church has become a major issue for pastors and church leaders. Today, we discuss why this is an important moment for the Church to get right in the way things are handled.

Equipping Millennials in the Church – Rainer on Leadership #443

Chris Martin, the Millennial Evangelical, joins us to discuss Ministering to Millennials and how your church can better equip and engage Millennials.