'If I Had Learned This 20 Years Ago, My Life Would Be Changed Right Now'

Why do many pastors have plenty of theological training but not enough leadership wisdom? (Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash)

Too many men and women graduate from seminary, get hired as pastors and mere months later, feel completely overwhelmed. Why? Because although they received a thorough theological education at seminary, no one prepared them for the practical leadership challenges of pastoring a church.

LifeWay Research found in 2016 that 25 percent of U.S. pastors who leave the pastorate do so due to conflict in the church and another 19 percent due to burnout. And that's not all—12 percent leave because of financial problems and yet another 12 percent of pastoral departures are the result of family issues.

But it's not just pastors who deal with these problems. It's worship leaders, board members, elders, church planters and Christian business leaders. Perhaps you've even wrestled with some of these same issues yourself. After all, each of us is a leader in some way or another.

That's why Dr. Mark Rutland, a man I greatly respect for his wisdom and leadership expertise, founded the National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL). Dr. Rutland's heart for the NICL is to take 50 years of bumps, bruises and life lessons and pour them into today's leaders—right now.

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Dr. Rutland touches on a variety of leadership challenges, including management vs. leadership, strategic growth, selecting the right staff, maintaining healthy board relations, effective interviewing, the 10 stages of disloyalty, debt management and more.

He developed this course a number of years ago and taught it as part of a master's program at Southeastern University. Later on, he left that position, but because he had seen such success with the course, he felt he needed to continue teaching it. That's when Charisma Media partnered with Dr. Rutland. As a result, we've seen nearly 1,000 people go through the course and report what a blessing it has been to them.

David Manning, director of leadership development at Charisma Media, attests to how satisfied people are after experiencing the NICL.

"When people come out of his class, they look me in the eye, and they tell me, 'If I had learned this 20 years ago, how my life would be changed right now,'" Manning says.

I had the opportunity to witness Dr. Rutland's leadership skills when he was president of Southeastern University and, later on, of Oral Roberts University. Both schools were in desperate need of a turnaround—and I was impressed to see Dr. Rutland provide exactly that.

I actually went through his leadership training and, even though I've been in leadership for decades, Dr. Rutland not only reminded me of important principles but also helped me see leadership in a fresh way. Eight years ago, I also had several of my employees go through the NICL. As a result, we changed several things in our company and saw tremendous success.

Now, for the first time, Dr. Rutland's 60-hour course is available online at thenicl.com. When you enroll, you have complete, 365-day access. The neat thing about the online course is that when you sign up, your spouse also receives free access so you both can use the training at your own pace. And if you enroll by Sept. 30, you will get three bonus months free. (Manning tells me that's worth more than $600!)

Listen to my podcast interview with Manning below to learn more about the benefits the NICL offers you.

I highly encourage you to sign up for the NICL's online course. The NICL helped me and my leadership team achieve a higher level of success. I know this course is life-changing and will infuse new energy into your ministry, your team and even your home.

Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma Media and president of Christian Life Missions. He is also the author of the best-seller God and Donald Trump. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.

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