by Misty Phillips
What do seasons and cashiers all have in common? Change. Now more than ever, change is an aspect of our daily lives. At times, change personally sneaks up and knocks on our door. Some open the door and invite change in. Others crack the door just a bit to scrutinize what this “change” is all about. Let’s be honest. We all resist elements of change in some area of our lives. Bad habits. Eating healthier. Trying new things.
Stories of change are throughout the Bible. Many times, the process of change is a faith journey. We see how a change in direction (heart) equals a new start (repent means to turn around, to change direction). We see how spending time reading and listening to Scripture renews and changes our minds. Yep, change is good.
Change is a trust step. Trust in God. Trust in a leader to lead. Trust in the fact that change brings newness. And how change is embraced is different for all of us.
As a ministry leader, I found those I served alongside processed change in different ways. Some embraced changes in ministry and were often completely supportive. Others . . . not so much. As updates and changes to our systems and structures happened, the embracing or resisting became evident in each member of my team. I had a great volunteer ask: “Why do we need to change this? Seems to be working just fine to me.” Because of the relationship we’d established, I could see they were being sincere, not resistant. The mistake on my part was that I began changes without helping others understand and process the reason behind the need.
During times of change, we need to respect people’s process to understand and embrace change, pressing in even more to be sure shared vision happens. Volunteers need to be reminded of the why and the benefits of change. Did you paint a picture of the vision? Do people trust the vision of your ministry? Vision leaks. Smart leaders keep painting and celebrating the vision picture. Smart leaders allow room for team members to process change, addressing questions clearly and thoroughly.
If your ministry is going through a season of change, help your team know and understand that change is not for reasons of compromise. Change brings refreshment, newness of life and better ministry. Change is a key part of reaching your community. Embracing change while trusting our unwavering heavenly Father is always the way we win with change both personally and in ministry.
Misty is an Orange Specialist who wants to help local church leaders win in ministry to kids, families and volunteers. A local ministry leader for 25+ years she learned much from the school of hard knocks. Follow her on Twitter OrangeMistyP