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CNLP 115: Sean Seay on Winning in Leadership While Failing at Home and How He Got Healthy

Sean Seay founded what by all means is a very successful church, reaching thousands. But while things were going well at work, they really fell apart at home. Sean takes us through an incredibly candid conversation about what he needed to deal with as a person, leader, husband, father and Christ-follower, and how he got healthy.

Welcome to Episode 115 of the podcast.

Sean Seay


Guest Links: Sean Seay

 Sean Seay on Twitter

Athen’s Church

Athen’s Church on Facebook

Athen’s Church on Twitter 

Athen’s Church on Instagram

Links Mentioned

 Sean Seay on Pursuing Emotional Health in Ministry on The unSeminary Podcast

TrainedUp Leadership

TrainedUp’s Free eBook: Recruit and Deploy More Volunteers

ReThink Leadership

Athen’s Church

CNLP 110: Jeff Brodie, Carey Nieuwhof and Jeff Henderson on Navigating a Successful Transition: Stepping Out of And Into the Lead Pastor’s Chair

Brené Brown

CNLP 002: How Perry Noble Hit Bottom While Pastoring One of America’s Largest Churches & How He Battled Back

CNLP 005: When Leadership Ruins Your Family: How to Live and Lead Differently—An Interview with Craig Jutila

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Few people understand the full weight of leading a church. Including you before you signed up to do it. People tend to think that the way to build a thriving church is by being a good communicator and playing some trendy videos during service. However being a great communicator isn’t enough to grow a church—you need to be an even better leader. You have to pray, be in the community, build relationships, build a team, raise money and cast a compelling vision. Those are the things that make leading a church tough. And those are the components we forget about the most.

2. The people that love you the most can often get the worst from you. The people you work with won’t put up with you being a jerk, but usually your family will (for a while, at least). When the daily grind of work frustrations build up. . . it’s usually your family who sees the explosion. It’s important to remember that if you’re winning at work but losing at home, you’re losing.

3. If you allow it, God will use your brokenness for sanctification. If you’re in a place of brokenness, you need to know one thing: It’s okay to be there. God will still do something great. He has loved you your entire life. If you allow yourself to walk into His love and into His grace, the season of restoration will come.

Quotes from Sean and Carey

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Find yourself struggling to get it all done? Constant interruptions and distractions keep you from getting your most important priorities accomplished. In addition, work keeps bleeding into family time.

What if you didn’t need to live that way anymore? Can you have a much higher impact at work AND get your personal life back on track? Actually, you can.

In December, I release the 10 session High Impact Leader course. It will show you highly practical, proven strategies on how to finally get time, energy and priorities working in your favour. The course includes 10 videos, an online workbook and 10 specific exercises that will help you create a personalized plan to help you get productive and accomplish the things you know are most important, but rarely have time for.


Getting your most important priorities done early in the week, every week.

Discovering time to finally exercise, pursue a hobby,  launch a blog, start a podcast or write that book.

Actually being OFF when you have a day off.

Imagine getting your life and leadership back. That’s what the High Impact Leader is designed to help you do.

Read more about the High Impact Leader here and sign up to be the first to know so you can get the best rates.

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Dave Adamson

He’s called the #1 follow in the Christian world on Instagram. @AussieDave, Dave Adamson, is my guest as he talks about how his Instagram account grew from 600 to ov 22K followers as he created a daily devotional. Dave shares his philosphy, strategy and apporach in a way that can help you develop and grow your own platform.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 116.

CNLP 115:  Sean Seay on Winning in Leadership While Failing at Home and How He Got Healthy


  1. Jay on November 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    This is possibly the most raw and insightful episode ever, Carey. So many of us are in a cage match trying to give our best to our family while leading and serving God’s people in the local church. While Sean’s story is absolutely gut-wrenching, Jesus’ work in his restoration drips with grace. As a lay leader (current elder and volunteer leader and former worship leader) with a full-time job in the marketplace, I’ve never really found consistent success juggling the commitment between family/marriage, work, and serving at church. More stories like these are a huge help.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Jay…couldn’t agree more. So glad you found it helpful!

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