This week I’ve had two interesting articles shared with me about leadership and change.
The first was “The Problem with Blowing Things Up” which talks about the wisdom about how to initiate change.
So often we are tempted to “blow things up” and start all over. Some might call this the Mythbusters’ approach to leadership. But like in the post above, is this something we should really be considering?
Sure, in some cases it might be what is needed. It may just be the right point in time to restart from scratch, to begin all over again. But is it in all cases?
In the context of the church, I would say the option to “blow things up” should be used in only the rarest of occasions. (Actually, you could probably say that for most situations where change is not only desired but required)
The approach to invoking change is to create a movement within the organization you are wanting to change. To create an excitement, an emotional response, that will help move things forward. It will give people something to buy into, it will help them feel like they are part of the process (whether they really are or not is up to them, but at least they feel like a contributor). It’s a grassroots movement where people can get excited and renewed in their passion for community.
The other article I received this week was “Overcoming Resistance to Change: Top Ten Reasons for Change Resistance”
In this article we read of the common anxieties and/or reasons people resist change. I’m sure you have experienced a number of them.
I have some serious concerns about the future of… well… society in general. We’re so focused on the individual. “What’s in it for me?” is our dominant mantra that echoes everywhere. And nothing seems immune. Our governments, our schools, our businesses, our public services, our news stories, even our churches all seem to be focused on maintaining and protecting what we have for our own sake.
As leaders, or perceived leaders, we need to begin to show a better way. Our churches need to show that it’s not about us who gather in the building, but rather what happens in the community. Our governments and businesses need to show that it’s not about golden handshakes or power, but rather how the weakest in our societies are treated. Our schools need to show it’s not about how many kids are in the class, but rather how these children grow into being productive members of society with the skills they learn.
This is not an overnight change. This is a change that is going to take some time because it requires a drastic change of attitude. It means letting down our guards that we hold so tight and getting open and vulnerable to the stories around us.
For the church, this should be our instinct. Why?
Because it’s how Jesus lived his life.
It’s how he asked us to live our lives.
The church was once the great leader in the community. The community focal point, the place where everyone looked for leadership and guidance. We can still be that place. We can still be places where people know they can be helped by people who are willing to be vulnerable with them. We can still live out the Gospel message we claim to use to direct our lives. We can still love our neighbours. We can still clothe the naked and feed the hungry.
All things Jesus commands us to do.
This change in public attitude needs to start somewhere, so that our whole society can go with it.
Why not start in the church?
Why not start today?Photo from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/250321