CCLP Episode 012: Laurel Buckingham on Insecure Pastors and Advice from a Lifetime of Ministry

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.

Welcome to Episode 012 of the podcast, which you can access on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Links

Laurel on Twitter

Buckingham Leadership Institute 

A Mission Partner

Looking for a mission partner? Compassion Canada helps release children from poverty around the world, and they do it through the local church.

They can help you develop a mission strategy for your church that can change the world, whether your church is large or small.

For a free consult, contact them at

Want to Reach More People?

Canadian Church Leaders Conference

How different is ministry in Canada?

Join us June 14-16, 2018 in Barrie, Ontario for the Canadian Church Leaders Conference, a conference designed to help Canadian Church Leaders reach people.  Intimate, interactive and featuring all new talks. This years speakers include Laurel Buckingham (Moncton Wesleyan), Shaila Visser (Alpha Canada),  Jon Thompson (C4 Church), Jeff Brodie (Connexus) and Carey Nieuwhof. 

Registration is officially open TODAY. 

Secure your spot now to grab the super early bird rate before the tickets are gone. The 2017 event sold out in advance. 

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.

  1. Don’t speak with someone until you have more compassion for that person than whatever you’d like to accomplish from having the conversation
  2. Seek to hear others out by being understanding of their point of view
  3. Keep a respectful tone
  4. Speak with clarity and candor

Quotes from This Episode

Does Church in Canada Have to Stay Small?

So you would love to reach more people, but how? Your church just can’t seem to sustainably grow past the 200 barrier.

You’re reaching new families every month, but it’s like pouring water into a leaking bucket: you just can’t grow past your current plateau. What gives?

Breaking 200 Without Breaking You can help you and your team break through the barrier 85% of churches never move past: the 200 attendance barrier.

So many leaders who try to break it either get stuck at 50, 100 or 200 in attendance or burned out in the process of trying.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Believe it or not, the reasons most churches never break 200 aren’t spiritual reasons, they’re practical reasons. Strategic reasons.

The course tackles eight key issues that keep churches from passing the 200 barrier and beyond. It includes:

  • 8 videos designed to guide you and your leadership team through all the key growth barriers smaller churches face.
  • 150 page downloadable workbook for you and your team.
  • 12 licenses, so you can take your entire team through it—board, staff, key volunteers—whoever you want (that’s about $20 a person).
  • A bonus cheat sheet with access to 20 free resources designed to take you further.
  • A private Breaking 200 Facebook Group access exclusive to the first 1000 purchasers.

So whether your church is 50, 150 or 250 in attendance, the principles will help you gain the insight you need to break the barrier more than 85% of churches can’t break.

Click here to get instant access!

The podcast releases the first Monday of every month.

Subscribe for free if you’re Canadian, or just interested in ministry in a post-Christian culture.

Subscribe via


Google Play

Plus, I host a weekly podcast called the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast.  Subscribe below and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.


Google Play


TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you and your church reach more people. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review!

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

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.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 013.

CCLP Episode 012: Laurel Buckingham on Insecure Pastors and Advice from a Lifetime of Ministry

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.