Fruitful Change requires Culture Change

Letter board with "Never be afraid of change"
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Pastor Ron cannot understand what is happening. He prayed about this need for the congregation. He spoke about it with three key leaders of the church and the church’s worship leader. He shared with the church last Sunday what needed to happen. Then this past Sunday he shared the change that would be taking place. We’ve prayed about this. We’ve studied and looked at possibilities. This was clearly what we need as a church. “Why don’t they understand and want to move forward with this?”

When a change for your organization is proposed that is not part of the current culture or supported within it, an adjustment of the current culture is essential and necessitated. Yet, caution is to be observed here. A major reason for failure of needed change in organizations (churches) is leadership moving too quickly without bringing the members along through the change process.

Accepting change takes time. People need to be eased into major change, especially when the change is not within their normal organization experiences (culture). A fault of leadership is thinking “We’ve been studying this for months”. Perhaps the leadership has, but the people affected within the organization have not spent the time studying, researching, and praying as have the leaders. A good factor for leaders to remember is – When you have studied and researched it until you’re tired of thinking and talking about it, the members of your organization have likely only recently heard of the change and have not had time or resources to fully process the upcoming changes.

Fruitful change in any organization happens best when leaders spend time researching all options, contemplating, praying about pros and cons of the change, exploring how to positively overcome objections from within and outside the organization. In addition to this it is imperative to slowly bring the members of the organization along – again I say slowly.

At first, they do not need to know every detail, only the reason you are researching and the benefit to the organization. Build on your reasoning slowly, adding small pieces and bits of information that will help the members adapt and adopt. You want to feed them truthfully, but not choke them with too big a bite at one time. To lead is to bring others along with you.

Another beneficial action is to pray about early adopting members who could serve on a team to help provide leadership in the research, development, and implementation of the needed change. During the process have members of the team share publicly to members of your organization. Hearing from their peers aids members in accepting needed change.

The more you can bring members along during the research and development process of any major adjustment, the greater chance of altering the culture for a fruitful future. Understanding the behavior patterns of the people who make up your organizational culture, will greatly aid in the development and implementation phases of needed change.

For more information on leading change download and read the following Microsoft Word – Understanding People and Change (soncare.net) or Microsoft Word – Understanding People and Change (churchhealthal.org)

You can lead change in your organization. Slow down, take a deep breath and follow these steps for fruitful change.

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