Change is difficult. While churches often claim to want change when they see declining attendance and loss of viability as an on-going institution, effective change is often quickly diverted with a return to doing the same old things.
Difficult is partly because change is scary. Because it is scary, very naturally, some people may subconsciously resist change even while wanting the results change might bring.
Change is scary because it is risky: it can bring good outcomes or bad outcomes. Knowing what type of change to implement requires intentional decisions, and without prayerful discernment of God's will, it is easy to make poor decisions that lead to poor outcomes. Change is scary because the stakes can be high, and some people may have to give up their comfort zone or their sense of control and power.
Thus, some may voice the desire for change but do nothing to make it happen or even seek to prevent it. According to Peter Senge of MIT Sloan School of Management, "People don't resist change. They resist being changed." Since transformation is about reconnecting with God's will for the church and churches are made up of people, transformation is inherently difficult.
Even if congregations are serious about transforming, engaging in prayerful discernment and developing clear road maps for change; meaningful change may not come because of institutional inertia or malaise! Or, it can begin but soon stall out and slide back into the status quo.
What does all of this mean?
It means that churches wanting to begin and continue their transformation journey can benefit greatly by getting outside help from people who have done transformation before, use best-practices in their transformation work and are well regarded among their peers. Outside help can be utilized in at least two areas:
The TransformingTheChurch.org resource provides for this type of assistance and support. Our instructors are available to function as consultants and coaches and will meet virtually with congregational leaders in a Private Meeting Room to provide customized consulting and coaching to assist you in your transformation efforts.