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7 Questions on Leadership with Luke Reifler

Name: Luke Reifler

Title: Head of Distance Education

Organisation: Australian Christian College

Luke has been a Primary School teacher in public and private schools for over 20 years and was Kids Pastor at his church for several years.

He has three children with Roslyna, who he met on a mission trip. Luke has a Bachelor of Education (Primary), Master of Christian Studies (Pastoral Leadership) building on a unique childhood being raised at his family’s ministry centre and completed Primary school via distance education. He enjoys photography and is passionate about faith, identity and community.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Luke's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Portioning my time to what is important vs urgent, so as to have my eyes on the horizon as well as what is in front and behind.

Navigating sustained expansion of the work and the team has meant I rarely feel able to be on top of my emails from colleagues and customers (students and their families).

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I believe that God has gifted me with confidence, clarity and conviction, which results in others looking to me. I have never pursued leadership, but have repeatedly found myself being divinely positioned as I surrender to His leading.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Wake up to alarm, read verse of the day and context chapter on my Bible app and pray, wake the kids, have breakfast, pack lunches, drive to school with two of my kids.

Start school day in Staff Devotions at 8am, then attempt to triage my email during breaks between joining/leading various scheduled and unscheduled meetings with staff throughout the day.

Possibly have lunch around midday, but more likely late afternoon. Farewell staff at 4pm and continue working until close to 6pm before heading home. I am more disciplined this year to resist opening my work or email on most evenings and Sundays.

Honestly, I generally concentrate on deep work for current and future projects and planning, while allowing intrusions for priorities but often neglecting to keep on top of emails.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Building sustainability for all is the greatest investment I can make. I live by this.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

A Failure of Nerve (Friedman) gave great encouragement and context to the power of decisiveness and diligence. It reminded me of the power of holding the course for the long game.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Prayerfully and sincerely serve, anywhere anyway anytime. With unquestionable integrity, humility and gratitude, walk in the shadow of other leaders and learn from them - their strengths and weaknesses, their triumphs and challenges.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Seeing the goodness and faithfulness of God work through and be magnified by those who are humble and weak, yet supernaturally bold and strong.

As I began this role a few years ago with a small team, I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit for words of encouragement and affirmation for each of them. I felt I stalled by only receiving a clear word for one of them, yet I was faithful to share it with them.

As I have seen God at work in each of my colleagues over the years (and the team continues to grow in size as our school grows), that person who I had the particular word of encouragement for continues to step into increasing confidence and has proven to be a steadfast asset and strategic waymaker for our team in ways that were never thought possible before then.

God does indeed know the character and quality of even the meek and humble.

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