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 Pastors Must Become Change Leaders – Rainer on Leadership #564

Determining the correct pace of change is often the most important aspect of leading change—because change is needed in nearly every church situation.

Six Reasons Why the Minimization of Numerical Metrics Is Dangerous – Rainer on Leadership #563

Metrics have a bad reputation in some churches. In others, they're too much of the focus. Today, we discus why you should take a balanced approach to metrics.

Six Reasons Why “People Are Saying . . .” Is the Most Frustrating Comment for Church Leaders – Rainer on Leadership #562

When a pastor hears the phrase "People are saying . . . ", it brings a great deal of anxiety. But should it? Today, we discuss the reasons for the anxiety and how to deal with it.

Five Updates on Pastoral Attire – Rainer on Leadership #561

Pastoral attire seems to be a hot issue in almost every church. Today, we discuss the response to another recent podcast on the subject and provide a few updates.

Five Reasons Some Churches Celebrate Debt Retirement – Rainer on Leadership #560

Debt can drag down a church's finances and keep it from being able to minister as it would like to. So when a church retires its debt, it's typically a cause for celebration.

Should Pastors Announce Their Upcoming Vacation? – Rainer on Leadership #559

Pastoral vacations can lead to some disagreements between church members—mainly on whether or not the church should know it's coming. Today we discuss both sides of the issue.

Six Ways a Church Failed the Guest Friendliness Test – Rainer on Leadership #558

Every church thinks they're a guest friendly church. But as we discuss today, guest friendliness is not something at which every church excels.

Six Reasons a Healthy Culture Is Imperative for Inviting Others to Church – Rainer on Leadership #557

Church culture is important to the outreach of a church, and subsequently, how much members will invite others. Today we discuss how inviting can create and improve the church culture.

Six Ways Toxic Members Deter Invitations to Church – Rainer on Leadership #556

When toxic members are present in a church, resources are spent on overcoming the fallout of toxic members. As a result, members are less likely to invite others to church.

Why the Pendulum on Church Metrics May Be Swinging Too Far – Rainer on Leadership #555

There is a pendulum swing in church leadership circles as it relates to the viewpoint of church metrics. Numbers and tracking numbers aren't inherently bad, but they can be abused.

Seven Reasons Why More Churches Are Calling on Interventionists – Rainer on Leadership #554

Churches who want to become healthier often need outside eyes and a fresh perspective. Today, we discuss how consultants (interventionists) can help.

Seven Thoughts on Pastoral Attire in Worship Services – Rainer on Leadership #553

Pastoral attire has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Today, we examine why that has happened and how to adapt to this change.

Six Common Mistakes Made by Preachers from the Pulpit (That Might Get Them in Trouble) – Rainer on Leadership #552

Preachers sometimes say some strange things from the pulpit. Today, we discuss some of the things that get said that can cause problems for a preacher.

10 Responses from Fired Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #551

Almost every pastor has had to deal with being fired—often for little to no reason. Today, we discuss a recent post on the topic and explain it further.

Six Reactions to the Increase of Declining Church Stats – Rainer on Leadership #550

The pace of decline for many churches is accelerating. The stats are quite alarming. Today, we cover a recent post on the topic.

Seven Ways Healthy Church Members Pray for Their Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #549

Church members who are unifying are church members who pray for their church. Today, we discuss seven areas that you can pray for your pastor and church staff.

Seven Ways to Be a Unifying Church Member – Rainer on Leadership #548

Church members who are determined to be unifying can change the entire ethos of a church, and a church with unifying church members is a blessing to a pastor.

Eight Updates on Sunday Evening Services – Rainer on Leadership #547

We've discussed Sunday evening services before on the blog and podcast, but things haven't changed much in local churches. The services are still declining on the whole.

Seven Updated Strategies for the Pastor’s First 90 Days – Rainer on Leadership #546

The first 90 days of a pastor's tenure can set the tone for the future of ministry. Today, we update our discussion on the topic with some new insights.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.