Grace Institute News
October 12, 2011
Many pastors we know consider themselves "change agents." One of the most common complaints we hear them make is that the are frustrated because their churches aren't willing to change. There are many reasons why this happens.
Especially in uncertain times, people look for ways to anchor themselves. They are often wanting to cling to church traditions and familiar events because they feel like an anchor, even when the consequences are dwindling attendance, declining enthusiasm, and lost resources. The familiar is very compelling. We are no longer in a time in which people are willing to change something because they "ought" to. The authority of the pastor and even of scripture does not move people as it once did. But there are some considerations that can make a difference when it comes to a congregation being willing to change. Here are some:
- Identify the change clearly enough so that people understand how it fits with the mission of the church (and make sure the mission of the church is compelling in itself!)
- Spell out the change so that people can see how it moves things forward
- Help people see the advantages gained by the change beyond just freshness or novelty
- Help people see the cost in specific terms of not changing
These last two are critical strategic moves. Often we go with one or the other, but greater leverage is gained when you combine them. For instance, "Why start a new small group for young adults?" Because it gives them a chance to connect and continue their spiritual growth in ways they wouldn't otherwise have (advantage). If we don't engage them, we may lose them altogether (cost). If you can't communicate both of these aspects, the change may not really be needed.
A percentage of people will always resist, but if the majority hears the call from God and hears the "why", they will follow.
Changing Communication in Church
Check it out every Thursday 11am-2pm
Led by Dr. Diane Thomas
Diane has over twenty years of experience working in individual therapy & educational settings, with a focus on children and adolescents. She has a heart for people to experience fulfilled lives through mental wellness & growing relationships with God. In addition to her role as a therapist, she serves Grace Community as Pastor of Faith Formation.
Saturday, October 29th
9am - 4pm
At Grace Institute
Register at 630-898-7990 or www.grace-institute.com
Cost is $29 per person or $39 per couple (lunch and snack included)
It doesn't take perfection to be a great parent!