Leading change is difficult in churches. I’m always looking for fresh insight on how to effect change. I’ve found great insight from this author. Kevin Cashman wrote the book Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life which I highly recommend. In one chapter he writes about mastering change in an organization. His insight applies to churches as well. I’ve adapted his suggestions below. As you read each contrast, ask yourself which one you tend to default to.
The 6 Keys to Mastering Change:
- Focus on Opportunities vs. Problems
- Focus on Long Term vs. Short Term (don’t lost sight of your long-term vision in the midst of change)
- Focus on Purpose vs. Circumstance (keep focused on your church’s purpose and values, and your own as well, to avoid getting mired in difficult circumstances)
- Focus on Adaptability vs. Control (control will only yield a certain degree of results; good leaders must remain agile, flexible, and innovative to sustain results over the long haul)
- Focus on Service vs. Self (serve your leaders during the stress of change)
- Focus on Listening vs. Expertise (effective leaders stay open and practice authentic listening to stay connected to others and to remain open to other innovative solutions)
What has helped you navigate change well?
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2 thoughts on “6 Keys to Mastering Change in the Church”
Effective change leaders practice the disciplines you’ve identified, for sure. But perhaps you’ve inadvertently overlooked the most important discipline – understanding what those you’re leading through change experience at various stages along the way?
There’s a lot of emphasis in current change management theory that treats the people who must endure the change as if they were pieces on a game board. The successful change leaders are those who most skillfully maneuver the pieces.
Significant, meaningful and lasting change requires a leader who guides the organization with a firm hand, and who tends those being guided with a tender heart. When people feel heard, and when we allow them to wrestle with the emotional turmoil change induces, they are far more likely to persevere rather than resist.
Bud, great insight. Thanks for contributing.