Things You Haven’t Heard About Leading Change – 6

Why are people at your church? What causes them to think that your church is, well, their church? Last time, we looked at PEOPLE–the fourth of our five reasons people are at your church. The reasons people make a home at a local church are critical to keeping them there. And reason #5 is important as well.

POSITION is our fifth and final reason. You see, some people call your church their home because of the role they fill there. So, “I’m a deacon” or “I’m the choir director” or some other title or responsibility defines their sense of ownership.

Naturally, we want our ministry leaders and helpers to develop that kind of ownership. We want them to take their responsibilities seriously and find fulfillment in those ministry efforts.

But what happens when change comes? As we have seen with each of our five reasons people are at your church, change that affects my reason creates disoriented feelings. My connection feels compromised, if not ruined altogether, and my sense of belonging is now altered a bit.

What’s this look like for those with a POSITION connection? Picture the deacon who is no longer a deacon–maybe not re-elected or taking a required year off. Now he feels his identity at church is uncertain. He doesn’t attend the meetings, doesn’t know what’s going on like he used to, and likely feels that people see him differently than when he was serving.

Or picture the choir director after the decision is made to no longer have a choir or to have them perform less frequently. Much of that leader’s activity at church is now gone, and if he or she cannot find a comparable place of involvement, the outer door begins to beckon.

If my reason to call your church home is dominated by a role that establishes my sense of identity at church, any change in that role can be very difficult to embrace. The journey from leader to non-leader in the same setting can be very difficult for even the healthiest Christian to navigate.

So, if nearly everyone finds their sense of belonging at our church in one of the five areas we’ve discussed (PLACE, PERSONALITY, PROGRAM, PEOPLE, POSITION), how do we bring change when any step we take will likely disorient several folks? How do you lead change when any step risks damaging these valued connections?

In our next blog, we will discuss the critical step every leader must be taking to make such changes possible. There is a way…and your intentional effort on that path is the key to successfully leading any change in your church.

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