Setting a Proper Pace for Change
When it comes to change, many church leaders attempt to do too much, too soon. They set a pace for change that their people simply cannot tolerate or keep up with. I realize that church leaders in a declining situation want to see things turn around quickly; but be wary of getting into the predicament of having to pull your people into change instead of methodically leading them into change.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Start small. Before you can lead your people to make big and significant changes, you would do well to gradually create an environment of change by successfully guiding them through small changes. Then they may be open to considering bigger changes.
- Celebrate successful changes. Let your people know you appreciate their willingness to change. A change that seems small to you may be significant for many of your members. Remember that these initial small changes pave the way for more significant changes in the future.
- Develop a team of change agents. These are the people who buy into the necessity for change, openly support change, and actively lead in making the church’s vision a reality. Spend time developing them as leaders, and let them be the champions for change.
Relate even the smallest change to the mission and vision of the church. Convince people of the why of a change, then they will focus on the how of it.
Pastor, you are the chief change agent in your church. If you are not wholeheartedly convinced that change is needed and are not committed to making happen, it will not happen. If you are not excited about the future direction of the church, no one else will be, either. Simply put, everything rises and falls with leadership — your leadership.
Church Strengthening Strategist
Nashville Baptist Association