The Key to Unlocking Change

Want to know the fastest way to get fired as a pastor? You guessed it, try to change something. Sometimes anything, it could be as simple and silly as changing the carpet, the color of the walls, or how you take up the offering. Initiating change is dangerous, and there will be casualties. Let’s just hope you’re not one of them.

There are lot of pastors and leaders who like to teach on change, but I’ve found there are far fewer who’ve actually lived it.

Until you’ve taken a traditional church and changed everything about it, you don’t truly know the difficulties of change.

Until your life has been threatened by a church board member, you don’t truly know the seriousness of change.

Until you write a blog post that is the subject of an emergency board meeting…well, you get the point.

It’s different hearing it from someone who’s actually gone through it. I’ve gone through it, somehow managed to live to tell about it, and even got a job working at the church after it.

The three steps I’m going to tell you about initiating change I didn’t know about when my church went through it. If I had known about them, I have no doubt that the process would’ve gone smoother. It would’ve taken longer, but it would’ve gone smoother.

The key is to agree. Whoever is in control, whoever makes decisions, whoever has influence, you need them to agree with you in three areas.

  1. Agree on the Goals

If you’re pastoring a church, the main goal should be to see people give their lives to Jesus. That should be pretty easy to agree on, although you may have some people who would argue that the church primarily exists to teach and train those who are already saved. Many insider-focused churches will feel this way. I would disagree. I don’t believe Jesus came so we would know more about the Bible. I believe Jesus came to seek and save those who need a Savior.

  1. Agree on Reality

This can be much more difficult. People will often let their own personal feelings and bias determine reality. This is where you need facts and statistics because facts don’t lie. You may say something like, “You may feel like the church is doing well, but there wasn’t a single salvation last year and we can’t be ok with that.”

  1. Agree on Measurement

Once you agree on what the goals is and what the current reality is, you can now agree on what success looks like for your organization. So, you may say, “Our goal is to see twenty people give their lives to Christ next year.”

Now you have an agreed upon goal that you can measure, and you’ve all agreed that what you’re currently doing isn’t meeting the goal. So, you’ve basically all agreed that something has to change.

In light of our current reality and in light of our goals, we need to do x, y, z in order to meet these goals.

In order for our kids’ ministry to be a place where families want to bring their kids, we need to hire a kids’ pastor.

In order for our student ministry to grow by twenty percent, we need to increase the student ministry budget.

In order for us to better care for our church members who are sick and in the hospital, we need to develop a care team.

The key is to agree because, once you agree on your goals and your reality, you have no choice but to agree that change needs to take place.

What does your church need to agree on this year? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

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