Laurel Buckingham pastored the largest church in the Martimes for over 40 years. In addition, he has mentored hundreds of pastors. In this episode, he shares what’s he’s learned through five decades of ministry and talks about how and why most pastors battle insecurity.
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3 Insights from This Episode
1. So much good can come from the welcome at the doorway
The act of greeting people at church seems like a no brainer in today’s culture. Most churches have teams devoted to producing a welcoming environment where everyone feels at home when they arrive. But not too long ago it was actually a controversial idea. For Laurel Buckingham, this groundbreaking philosophy in the early days of his ministry challenged both himself and his church.
At a time when most congregations were put off when strangers entered their doors, Laurel chose to greet them warmly – even though it initially placed him out of his comfort zone. He knew their hearts would be more open to hearing the message if they felt at ease and accepted from the start. This approach didn’t come naturally to most church members either, but in time many caught on and joined him. This love offering was part of the movement that not only grew the church in numbers, but grew the congregation in spiritual maturity.
Never take for granted the importance of that first impression. The initial message at the doorway of your church isn’t just an invitation for others to meet Jesus. It’s an opportunity for the greeters to grow spiritually, too.
2. Diversions can distract from what God wants to do through you during difficult times
Hard seasons can take quite a toll on leaders. When problems seem unsolvable it’s easy to look for an escape route or even more tempting to accept better offers that come your way. Be mindful of the diversion that focusing on new opportunities can bring. Diversions are distractions and can take away from what God wants to do through you in your present situation.
You don’t necessarily need to leave a difficult season to do something meaningful. If you’re in a place where you see no end in sight, don’t give up. Make sure you have positive people in your life who can promote endurance and strength. People who have experience pushing through and surviving challenging times. If you don’t; then find them. These people exist and they can help you realize that God can still do great things in unlikely places.
3. Remove insecurity by putting the best interest of others before your own
Leaders often struggle with insecurity. Are we liked? Are we making a difference? Insecurity breeds fear and doubt and puts the focus on our own needs. Jesus never a struggled with this. He was always more concerned with what he could do for others rather than worrying about what others thought about him.
Reset your motivation by making sure your actions have the best interest of others in mind. People are typically more impressed with how you’ve made them feel than by your accomplishments. You’ll come to find a positive shift in your confidence level and you may notice that you’ve made more of an impression with others without even trying to in the first place.
Here are 4 helpful suggestions that have guided Laurel when putting others first.
- Don’t speak with someone until you have more compassion for that person than whatever you’d like to accomplish from having the conversation
- Seek to hear others out by being understanding of their point of view
- Keep a respectful tone
- Speak with clarity and candor
Quotes from This Episode
Most leaders quit moments before their critical breakthrough. – @cnieuwhof
I feel bad for so many leaders who go through a lifetime of living with fears. – @ldbuckingham
I am more fulfilled when I’m fulfilling a purpose. – @ldbuckingham
As a leader I am responsible to find the solutions to the problems that exist. – @ldbuckingham
We want to create a platform where nobody needs to leave to do something meaningful. – @cnieuwhof
Does Church in Canada Have to Stay Small?
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The podcast releases the first Monday of every month.
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Next Episode: Christine Birch
Christine Birch has been part of megachurches in Toronto, New Jersey and most recently, as the Connections Director at Connexus Church.
Christine shares insights on how the churches she’s been a part of have reached people, and shares how she’s helped assimilate guests and move people into community to help keep Connexus growing.