In our last blog, we revealed the key element in leading change – PURPOSE. You have to help people discover or rediscover your church’s true purpose if they will ever be willing to engage the change needed to get there. Change for any other reason won’t help you in the long run. Only a return to a clear sense of purpose can create the best environment for your future.
As we said, the first step toward that purpose is to revisit your mission. How are the Great Commission and Great Commandments being lived out in your church? Are they clearly in focus? What steps can you take to bring them clearly to the surface and into the windshield of your church members?
Once those priorities are engaged with renewed commitment and passion, the next step is to lift up your eyes. The real vision God has for your church can on’y be found when you are looking at the harvest He has placed before you.
Sadly, many churches have vision statements and no vision. They worship in rooms with three cleverly crafted phrases on the wall, but the words mean nothing to them. They nod approvingly each time church leaders read those words, but they aren’t driven by them. Words cannot create a vision for a church. Only a clear view of people can do that. (Then we find some words to describe what we see.)
For people to embrace change, they must embrace the need for it. Get them outside your church walls. Involve them in community projects. Serve a meal at a soup kitchen. Play with children at a park. Go to a high school football game. Find an opportunity for your people to see the harvest field up close and then guide them to see their mission in the eyes of those they encounter. Once that begins to happen, real vision starts to emerge.
What’s your dream for your neighborhood? What do you want God to do in your high school? (C’mon now, don’t give me those expected Sunday school answers.) What’s in your heart? What is God speaking to you as you look on the faces of people at the local mall?
As such passions begin to grow, missional urgency is just around the corner. Soon some of your people will insist that we must change to reach those people!! And when that begins to occur, you have entered a new era in your church–one where change is not only possible. It’s now demanded!