Every growing organization experiences change. In truth change is one of the most consistent things in our life – people change, preferences change, culture changes – if you can name it, it can change.
Here is the crazy thing about change – it is often polarizing in nature. Pick any sort of change:
- The Atlanta Braves have a new stadium in a new area – some people love this move and the new stadium, others think it is a waste of time and money.
- We are around 100 days in with our new American president – some people have loved the change and others have hated it.
- A few years ago Burger King decided to change their fries. Some people love the change – I have yet to forgive them.
Change can be polarizing based on which side of the street you stand. If you believed things were good – change feels like a move in the wrong direction. If you felt like change was needed then the winds of change are welcomed.
Change is unavoidable, so the question becomes how to you handle change in a healthy way? I’ve been able to walk through a series of big changes in my time at 12Stone Church. As I reflect on the various seasons of change there are 3 actions that stand out…3 things to do, which will help you best handle change on your team, business, church or family.
- Assume Competence – Not every change is the best change or the right change. However when change comes your way chose to operate from a mindset or assumption that those who are leading the charge are competent. Assume there are things you do not see that they do see. Take a posture of trust. Distrust has a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Click to tweet)
- Press forward – When in a change season some people take a posture of waiting. In some way things are always changing. Pulling back is never going to serve you well. Don’t hold back in the middle of change, press ahead and create positive forward momentum. (Click to tweet)
- Be a Servant – Change causes tensions to rise. When tensions are high the last thing on any of our minds is, “how can I best serve?” During change there is rarely a shortage of opinions, but often a shortage of people willing to serve. (Click to tweet)
Those 3 things are in no way an exhaustive list of what to do in the middle of change – they are just some of the things I have found helpful as I navigate change. I’d love to hear some feedback from those of you who have walked through change in your organization – what has worked for you?
2 thoughts on “How to Handle Change”
My job as a transitional pastor is all about change. The thing I have found most useful in moving forward is not to concentrate on the change but instead to concentrate on the purpose for the church’s existence. I try to strip it back to the basics of the Bible as a transformational guide to following God and then built form there. I found that people were willing to see the leadership as competent because we were building on the excepted reason for our existence. They will often press forward if there is an unchanging reason for existence even if the way they live out that existence is changing. I found people were willing to serve if they saw a goal or outcome that was consistent with the church’s purpose rather than a way to keep up with what the “in people” are doing. The biggest fight was against change for the sake of to change rather than change to effectively live out our purpose in a changing world. Still there will always be those who hate change and those who live for change, neither of those two groups inspire people to press forward, serve or assume competence.
So true! I must be one of the few who really enjoy change. Ever since I was young I’ve enjoyed moving, meeting new people and living in different cultures. Change keeps a person young and interesting – the Lord keeps me grounded in Truth.
God’s Word never changes. And yet look at how many churches resist change when it’s insignificant items like music, wall color or seat placement. Words that can never be taken back are said and the church splits. So sad. When will the congregation realize that it’s the lyrics that have meaning, Christ-like fellowship, smiles and kindness that make a church. “As for me and my house . . . we will serve the Lord!” Blessings back,