Because of the work I do, I am surrounded by ministries - churches, mission agencies and Christian non-profits who need to make major changes or face significant issues if not decline and death. Here is what they need to know:
If you don't like change
you're going to like irrelevance even less
What keeps so many leaders and ministries from confronting the need for significant change in order to grow, take advantage of new opportunities and re-envision for the next run? There seem to be some common factors.
First, we become comfortable and change is uncomfortable. I am amazed at the ability of comfort to cause people to ignore even major risks they face by choosing comfort over change. Comfortable is the nemesis of faith, vision and new ideas.
Second, we don't want to confront the idea that major change is needed. This is simply intellectual laziness that does not want to put in the hard work of figuring out what needs to change in order to go to the next level or simply avoid falling to a new low.
Third, we resist the idea of getting outside help when it is most needed. In our self sufficiency and pride, we choose to keep the discussion in house with the limited knowledge that got us to where we are today (in need of change) rather than reaching out to someone who can look with fresh eyes at the challenges you face and suggest fresh ideas.
Fourth, we underestimate the pace of change around us, thinking that we have plenty of time to address it. You don't! Change is rapid and our turtle pace responses often overwhelm us leaving us with few choices when we could have had more choices.
Fifth, we lack the courage to name our current reality in honest, candid, stark terms which would create a crisis among thinking people. In not naming the true nature of the threat we allow ourselves and others to minimize the need for change.