Before you read, (or after) listen to this podcast 33 minutes on this same topic. https://www.theleadpodcast.com/podcast/2018/6/17/changing-your-church-without-killing-it-with-roger-hernandez
There is a lot of talk about change these days, but not much change happening. I have had the blessing of transitioning a couple of congregations to become more missional. Here are seven things that worked.
1. Reaching > keeping. The first step is to make sure you understand that the church exists for those “who aren’t here yet”. A missional leader understands that although we would like to keep everyone that presently attends, the reality is that some people are allergic to mission. They will prefer for things to remain as is. Therefore, you must decide to structure, fund and program based primarily (notice I did not say exclusively) on those you want to reach.
2. Trial balloon. Sometimes people resist change not because it’s bad but because they are unfamiliar. Try something short term. It gives people an opportunity to process and for you to analyze and evaluate.
3. Keep lines of communication open. Do this with three groups. People you lead. People you serve with. People who lead you. Most administrators are open to change but really skittish about surprises. Over inform. Don’t take criticism personal. Grief over change is real and manifests itself in people lashing out.
4. For vs Against. If you implement change driven exclusively by your anger to ________________, many times it will fizzle. The best change is driven from what we are for. Change that comes as a response only, will not be sustainable when what you so vehemently oppose does not exist anymore.
5. There is no going to next level without attrition. I wish it wasn’t so. If the people who brought you here could take you there they would have! Exceptions exist, but they are called exceptions for a reason.
6. Be ready for emotional pain. This something I was not prepared for. Change implies loss, and loss implies pain. Make sure you have a mentor, a counselor, a prayer life and take your vacation. Sometimes the pain is relentless. One of the first things that pain will make you do is question if what you are doing is the right thing.
7. Surveys. Whenever change happens there is going to be a loud minority who uses phrases like: “A lot of people” “No one likes…” First of all “a lot of people” is usually just me and my friends. Second, when do you surveys it gives you a comprehensive assessment of the reality of the whole, not just the vocal minority.
What have you encountered as you try to make your church more missional that has worked? Share in comments below.