Navigating Change …

Posted by Lori Wilhite

Change. The thing people often think they want … but resist, oh how they resist it.

But change is necessary. To continue to reach people and move forward, we have to learn how to navigate change at some point in leadership.

But, oh, its tricky.

The time has come to cut a program or cancel an event that has been held since the beginning of time, and that’s when you find out the program or event is a big ol’ sacred cow that you’ve slayed. People are not happy … and very vocal.

Or you feel like God is leading you to introduce something new … new worship music, new staff … new, new, new. New is different. New is uncomfortable. New is, well, new.

No matter what kind of change is coming, it is often so hard for us … all of us … as self-centered people to see beyond our own thoughts and feelings.

We recently had a friend who was a little bent out of shape about the occasional addition of a pre-service DJ. A little scratching. A little mixing. He’s pretty great, but obviously not everyone’s cup of tea. But my husband, smiled a little after hearing the complaint and reminded our friend that as we grow older there ought to be quite a few things that we don’t love in each service if we are truly going to reach out to a younger generation than us. Our friend laughed, agreed, and on we went.

That weekend, my husband decided to go ahead and work that little story into his message. He seized the moment to cast a little vision and bring a little clarity to why we do some of the things we do. Sure, not everyone probably got it. But some others certainly did.

Later, this photo showed up on Instagram. This is Gary aka G-Blest, or as I lovingly refer to him, our “resident rapper”. And that sweet lady next to him is 94 … and probably not the greatest fan of rap. I don’t imagine that she has much rap music littering her playlists.

The comment that went with the photo said: Your message worked on my 94-year-old grandma and now she’s a member of G-Blest’s fan club.

How precious is that?

When people are able to see beyond themselves and embrace the mission and vision, even when it is something outside of their comfort zone or preference, great things can happen. But how we lead people to accept change along the way is absolutely critical.

So, today, let’s share from our own experiences. What is a change, big or small, that has been introduced in your ministry or organization … and how did you, your husband, or your staff lead people to embrace that change?

6 thoughts on “Navigating Change …

  1. WondHerful

    This. Is. So. Good.
    How wonderful to see the convergence of old & new and traditional & hip. Love it! Thanks for sharing. This is gonna encourage many-a-ministry today!

  2. Kate

    Can I please tell you how much I love the name G-Blest! We had an older woman come to our launch, she disliked our music, and wasn’t fond of some of the people we attracted, but she had a true heart for God and for what He was going to do through our new church. She came every week, sat in the back row and prayed through the whole service. She did that every Sunday for 3 years until she passed away. Her name was Jayne, oh we miss her so much. Her heart and example were so great for me, and still leave an impression on me today. What a great way for Jud and you to spin what could have been a huge negative into a positive!

  3. Stephanie Shouse

    LOVE this! My 86 year old g’ma loves to visit my parents’ contemporary church…just to hear the band! She especially loves the drums & gives the young man an occasional thumbs up when the set is over. My husband and I have been involved in mostly traditional churches who are attempting to transition to contemporary. Change is always so hard for people of both sides of every issue! We’ve learned that change must come from love & trust, not just from a position of authority. We love on our older people, listen to them, embrace them, and honor them. They, in turn, embrace the changes as something that is truly necessary in order to reach the younger people for Christ. They might not love the new things but they love God and people…and that’s all that matters!

    What a great story, Lori! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  4. DjHexx

    I love this! G-Blest is a good friend of mine. It really makes me happy to know that there is such great support for our type of ministry. Without our elders we would not have the good wisdom of Christ. They are the ones who instilled this believe in us. I know our music is not for all , but without us listening to the music they grew up with our musical creativty would not be were it is. I salute and respect our elders. Be blessed >> DJHexx of(33/45 Dropdjs)

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