Most of us have felt the frustration of knowing that something needs to change, but the person(s) who can change it are not willing to do what it takes. Leaders know when something needs to change… or at least leaders listen when other people know that something needs to change.
Then the difficult process of change begins. Lots of ideas have been written about change theory, and some great books are available, so there is no excuse for entering into a process of change without knowledge. Emotional Intelligence, Primal Leadership, How to Change Your Church Without Killing It, and Transitioning are good resources to start with.
There is still something else that needs to be dealt with, however, or the the needed change will not happen. Fear.
When a leader allows fear to creep in during the change process what results is watered-down, sterile, powerless, half-baked change. John Maxwell writes in Developing the Leader Within You:
“Change means traveling in uncharted waters, and this causes our insecurities to rise. Therefore, many people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions. They are like the congregation that desperately needed a new building but were afraid to venture out. During a service some plaster fell from the ceiling and hit the chairman of the board. Immediately a meeting was callled and the following decisions were made:
One: We will build a new church.
Two: We will build a new church on the same site as the old one.
Three: We will use the materials of the old church to build the new one.
Four: We will worship in the old church until the new church is built.”
This congregation’s fear of change caused them to water down their needed change so much that it made no difference. They were paralyzed. They knew they needed to change, but the change was so watered-down with fear that it was pointless.
If you or whatever you are in charge of needs to change, decide that fear is not going to water-down your reults, and change all the way.