The Impact of Personal Change on Organizational Change

Rarely have I heard a church leader say, “That change didn’t happen because I failed to model the change myself” or because “I failed to reinvent myself.” For most of us the first thought is that it is others who need to change. Too frequently leaders fail to see the incongruity of asking for change in others while failing to... Continue Reading

Inspiring Change Quotes and Sayings

  In recent blogs we have been examining the impact of change and how to lead and manage change in the church. Below are a variety of change quotes from well known leaders and writers I have found inspiring and challenging. Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it. Harry Emerson Fosdick Change... Continue Reading

Three Ways To Use Church History to Lead Change

Spanish American Philosopher George Santayana famously wrote in The Life of Reason, “Those that cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Repeating what happened in the past is the result of either learning or not learning from it, depending on the context. In most cases, we’re talking about mistakes that are repeated because people don’t learn from their mistakes... Continue Reading

Traditionalism – You Cannot Move Forward with Nostalgia

Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living…..Jaroslav Pelikan Political, social and church history shows us that when things change too quickly or when people fear the future they will flee to leaders who promise to restore the glory of the past. But history also demonstrates that you cannot move forward with... Continue Reading

Synergism – The Correlation Between Movement, Change and Improvement

Movement is an overriding theme of the Hebrew Scriptures. Adam and Eve are removed from the Garden of Eden. Hagar is cast into the desert with her rejected son. Lot flees Sodom. Abraham and Sarah leave their native land. The Hebrew nation escape Egypt and wander for forty years. The New Testament also demonstrates this consistency of movement. Jesus was... Continue Reading

How Personality Impacts Leading and Managing Change in the Church

If you were a carpenter and didn’t know the difference between a hammer, screwdriver or saw do you think you could make anything of beauty or significance? Probably not! How does this apply to leading and managing change in the church? When God calls the church to change He is faithful to provide the tools. I Corinthians 12:18 tells us... Continue Reading

The “Secret Sauce” of Leading Organizational Change

There is an old adage that states, “Organizations don’t change; people change and they change organizations.” It is well documented that fully 75-85% of all change initiatives fail to be fully implemented. Typically this is because people fail to adapt to a new way of doing things and even adopt behaviors resistant to the change. As a church change leader... Continue Reading

The Burning Platform – A Metaphor for Organizational Change

“It was fry or jump, so I jumped.” — Andy Mochan In a previous post, Motivation – Dissatisfaction; No Dissatisfaction, No Motivation, we shared Andy Mochan’s “burning platform” story to illustrate the four dissatisfactions that motivate organizational change. It is a story first told by Daryl Conner in his books, Managing at the Speed of Change and Leading at the... Continue Reading

Short Term Low Goals: A Little by Little Approach to Change

In Exodus 23:29-30 God says, “I will not drive them out before you in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little, I will drive them out before you, until you become fruitful enough to take possession of the land.” Here God shows himself to be purposeful and... Continue Reading

Circles Rather Than Pyramids: How Small Groups Increase Acceptance of Change

Here’s the situation: You have invested a vast amount of time, money and leadership capital in transitioning your Small Groups to a new sermon based curriculum and revised organizational structure. Yet, months into the change, Small Group Leaders persist in using the old curriculum and resisting the new structure. How could this resistance have been minimized or mostly avoided? Let’s... Continue Reading

The Ceremonial Approach to Leading Change

Ritual and ceremony have long been recognized in society as agents of support in times of major or disruptive change. Examples include baby dedications, graduations, marriage ceremonies, retirement recognitions and funerals. Church leaders who fail to recognize the benefits of formal and informal ceremonies are missing a key strategy for reducing the impact of change in their congregations. Ceremonializing Touches... Continue Reading

By the Inch it is a Cinch – The Incremental Approach to Change

Church history shows if you are one step ahead of the crowd you get criticized, two steps you get ostracized, three steps you get crucified. Such evidence suggests an incremental approach to change is preferred in most churches. Incremental Approach Defined Incrementalism or gradualism, is the practice of making changes or achieving goals by degrees, in stages or small steps.... Continue Reading