By Carey Nieuwhof
If you are a leader, you will lead change. If you don’t keep pace with change, you will become irrelevant. And in our churches, the stakes our even higher because our mission doesn’t change but our methods must.
So, how do you lead change? Here are five ways to lead change without losing it.
1. Do the math.
Most leaders fear opposition when it comes to change and confuse loud with large and volume with velocity. Do the math and determine what percentage of people actually oppose the change you are leading compared to those who support it. The numbers may actually surprise you.
2. Choose your focus.
When leading change, you can focus on who you want to reach or who you want to keep. What’s more frightening to you: to lose a handful of people or to never accomplished the mission that God has called you to accomplish? Focus on change that reaches the unreached in your communities. You can’t build the future of the church on your opponents. Speak up for the unchurched.
3. Find a filter.
How do you know when to listen to different opinions when leading change? What competing voices should you value? Without a filter, everything may sound compelling. You must find a filter for decision making when leading change. When you hear competing voices, is there a biblical argument in what they’re saying? Usually it’s a cultural preference, not a biblical principle.
4. Attack problems, not people.
A classic leadership mistake is to attack a person, not the problem, when leading change. If you don’t turn to God with your frustration with people, you’re going to turn on people. Take the opponent and put your arm around them to view the obstacle together. Focus on problems. Don’t attack people.
5. Don’t quit!
Feeling frustrated or discouraged in your leadership? Most leaders are tempted to quit moments before their breakthrough moment. Don’t quit! Create an encouragement file, cultivate close friendships, and keep changing. The greatest enemy of your future success is your current success. When you stop changing, you stop growing. Keep experimenting and keep innovating to fulfill the mission to which God has called you.
Adapted from 5 Ways to Lead Change without Losing It on Ministry Grid. Check out Carey’s other exclusive Ministry Grid courses here.