After nearly 47 years of leading a church one area has always escaped me. Believe it or not it was guiding people away from the familiar to the unfamiliar which is defined as change.
Churches hoping to survive over the long term will have to remake themselves into better churches at least once along the way. After fifty years all around them have changed. Mostly the people who attend church has changed.
These change efforts have gone under many banners: denominational change, name change, vision/mission statement change, restructuring leader’s titles, cultural change, and new signs on the property, to name a few.
In almost every case, the goal has been to cope with a new, more challenging generation of seekers by changing the way the church worship services. A few of these endeavors have been very successful. A few have utterly crashed. Most fall somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt toward the lower end of the scale.
Leading a church to change will need outside help. Unless you get buying in from the groups failure is unavoidable.
Unsuccessful transitions almost always break down during at least one of the following phases: generating a sense of importance, establishing a powerful guiding partnership, developing a vision, communicating the vision clearly and often, removing obstacles, planning for and creating short-term wins, avoiding premature declarations of victory, and embedding changes in the corporate culture.
What did I learn most was that just because I see the need for change doesn’t mean the organization see or want to change? Get help sell the need for change should be a priority to change.
2 Kings 6:17 (NLT2)
17 Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.