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?