At this point in my life, change comes easy. When things become un-effective, outdated, & boring I’m usually one of the first to change the method & start over again. This view has directly impacted the way I see the church. The numbers don’t lie & churches are shutting down more than they’r opening these days. I believe many churches die simply because they refuse to change.
In talking to a pastor recently who is struggling to change the methods & mediums by which his church shares the Gospel I had a revelation of sorts. The story this pastor shared of his churches history was intriguing to me because at one point, they were engaging their community & using everything available to them to communicate the Gospel. Now, the church is arguing over whether or not they should have a Facebook account. So what happened? Why did this progressive & growing church stop changing?
I believe this church stopped changing because they found something that worked & changing that method to venture into the unknown scared them to death. They resisted change because they feared the death of their church. While trying to save their church from death, they had actually died trying to protect the method that was comfortable to them.
What I realized was that few churches or organizations start like this. When there’s nothing to lose we go all out but once we find something that works, and people show-up, we realize we could lose it all so we hold back & cling to what we know. No one is exempt from this problem. Even a young, entrepreneurial fellow like myself, who welcomes change now, might become so unknowingly corrupted by success that I would forget the risks & faith it took to get us to that place to begin with.
The world around us is constantly changing & if those of us who lead refuse to change our organizations will almost certainly die. I believe good leaders recognize that, as we age, we must continue to surround ourselves with people who are younger, more creative & more aware of where culture is headed. It takes humility for a leader to admit change isn’t as easy as it once was but that humility is often the difference between a successful organization & a dying organization.
Thoughts to ponder…