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"Changing can be like potty training your child—it can get pretty messy at the beginning, but it gets a lot better."

To change is: "To become or make different; to alter; to put with another; to use to take the place of another."

God never changes. But people and the world around us do! Change is happening at an experiential rate. Changes like pressures of life, methods, technologies, systems, lifestyles and so on.

We need to stay with our calling and know which areas of methods and strategies to be flexible in. Your situation may be one of stagnation or impeded growth. If this is the case you definitely need to have change out of your comfort zone.

Preparing for Change
  • Have your staff provide you with quarterly reports regarding the changing needs of the people in their departments
  • Make a definite plan and set goals to solve the problems which are brought about by change
  • Identify the opposing forces to the changes and prepare accordingly. Many times people need a shift in their way of thinking to allow change to happen
  • Be in faith and be positive. Look at change as opportunity and a challenge rather than a threat
  • Reinforce to your people that change is constant
  • Conduct a survey to measure your people's ability to adapt to change
  • There is a natural resistance to change so don't be surprised when it happens (we are creatures of habit)
  • Be sure you have your congregation backing you. If you have built trust along the way they will accept the change and support you
How to Implement Change
  • Give your people enough time to accept whatever change or adjustments you are proposing
  • Explain thoroughly the purpose and reasons for the upcoming change
  • Conduct a question and answer session regarding the changes
  • Let them be part of the decision-making process regarding the changes
  • Spread out the responsibilities for change to as many people as possible. Their involvement will increase their commitment
  • Be sure to explain how the people and the vision of the ministry will benefit from the change
  • Don't condemn or criticize others who resist change
  • Find ways to influence and motivate people instead of putting pressure and demands on them
  • Provide your people the needed information, materials, and training at each phase to facilitate the changes smoothly
  • Provide a reward system for each phase of the change process
  • Establish a system to measure and analyze the benefit of the changes you made
The alternative to gradual change is an "immediate and drastic change." This could be considered a "Calculated Risk."

For example, if you were going to change the structure of your church or radically launch an aggressive program you may lose some people. With this in mind you need to consider the immediate and overall future benefits and whether or not they will compensate for any loss.

One example of this type of change is when a country in Europe made a new law that cars would have to drive on the right side of the street instead of the left. They planned out the change and made plenty of announcements, and then in the middle of heaviest traffic time everyone changed lanes.

It was total chaos for the rest of the night but the change was complete and successful.

Change is inevitable and if done by the direction of the Holy Spirit and in His timing it can carry the seed of prosperity and success.

The Chinese word for crisis is made up of two characters, one means "danger" and the other "opportunity." What system do you have in place to keep up with the changes in the lives of your congregation?

Are you ready to make some quick changes to meet their changing needs? Are you willing to make a "reasonable risk" to advance your church way ahead? God never changes! But the Holy Spirit is moving and we need to move with Him!

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18).

Copyright © Jim Harper Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jim Harper
Web site: Jim Harper Ministries
Jim ministers with an emphasis on teaching and facilitating unity among believers. For many years now his heart has been stirred to serve the Lord abroad with a calling to the Russian-speaking people wherever they may be. Jim has helped many in this people group to know Christ and grow in their relationship with Him. Jim has also worked in the Far East of Russia. There he assisted the Christian churches in the areas of growth and unity by giving counsel conducting seminars and leadership schools.

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