A popular theory is that change happens from the outside in as external changes force us to personally change. I ascribe to an equally valid yet less recognized model based upon an opposing assumption. It is a model of inside out change. Over the years I have become a firm believer in the fact that our external worlds can be most effectively changed by changing our inner world.
Facing intense pressures to change their congregations, church leaders are finding the skills they were taught or caught are inadequate for the challenge. Yet, congregations will rarely change beyond the changes the pastor and key leaders are willing to make.
As a result, many church change initiatives fail simply because the pastor, staff and key leaders have failed to be the change that is needed. To champion change leaders must be willing to first change themselves, from the inside out.
Five Steps to Inner Change
In the course of my own change journey I have been influenced and blessed by pastors, staff and lay leaders willing to embrace inner change that in turn changed their external worlds.
I have observed that in their path towards inside out change they intentionally focused on making significant and regular changes in five key areas: Knowledge, Values, Practices, Relationships and Habits.
As you strive to lead external change you may find it helpful to ask a series of questions around each of these areas of personal inner change.
- What do I need to learn to lead this change successfully?
- What do I need to unlearn that might deter this change from being successful?
- What do I need to value more for this change to become a reality?
- What do I need to value less so this change can become a reality?
- What do I need to practice more of as I lead and model this change?
- What do I need to practice less of as I lead and model this changes
- Who do I need speaking in to my life about this change?
- Whose life do I need to speak in to about this change?
- What do I need to spend more time doing to see this change through?
- What do I need to spend less time doing to see this change through?
If your church is in need of change then embrace that change begins with you, and that you can change through an intentional inner rhythm of changing your Knowledge, Values, Practices, Relationships and Habits.
Posted on April 14, 2015