I’m into my tenth year of full-time coaching. That’s a lot of conversations with pastors. Occasionally I’m asked about ‘trends.’ For example: “Dave, what are some of the most common problems pastors have, or want to talk about.” That’s a good question. It’s not unusual for pastors to want to talk about problems with their board or a belligerent church member. Sometimes it’s how to develop an outreach or discipleship strategy. Some pastors want to talk about vision or direction for their church. These are just a few examples of common topics that can make up my day.
But there is another subject. This is a really frequent subject. Pastors want to talk to me about it. Pastors talk amongst themselves about it. Pastors deal with this topic all the time. This is something that frustrates and can sometimes suck the life out of a pastor. And it is also a topic that pastors almost never teach on. What is the topic? CHANGE.
One of the greatest reasons why a church does not move forward in it’s mission is due to a resistence to change on the part of the people. But it’s not always their fault. Sometimes pastors don’t understand the dynamics of change, and then couple that with an absence of teaching on change, and you have a perfect receipt for frustration and corporate stagnation.
As pastors we must become experts in how to lead through change. We need to learn how to become effective change-agents. We need to regularly teach our key-leaders and then our congregation about change. Here are some topics pertaining to change that I speak to pastors about all the time:
- Never underestimate how much change freaks people out.
- Understand the fears behind resistance to change.
- Most churches that have been in decline or plateau will not be able to turn things around without accepting and embracing significant change.
- Change is a process that requires wisdom and patience.
- Often times change is preceded by reeducation. What does that look like?
- Identify those in your church who are the most resistant to change.
- The role of prayer in implementing successful change.
- Resistance to change could be the number one reason why many churches are not effective in reaching new people and creating disciples.
These are examples of ‘change’ conversations I have all the time.
If you are trying to lead your people through change you’re going to need to teach on change, and teach on change, and teach on chance. First you must understand the dynamics of change. Then you need to pass this on to your leaders. Then you need to pass this on to the rest of your people. Then, and only then, will you be in a place to lead into change.
I can help.