We Just Don't Like It

Books for implementing change in a congregation often read like technical manuals. "Seek congregational input, get leaders on board, draft vision statement, alter course, start new ministry." They're all about techniques.

But successful change is as equally dependent on feelings as facts. How do the church members feel about the new direction?

The key to thriving in change is not found in casting a bigger vision, mastering the Powerpoint presentation, or escaping to an island paradise until things blow over. It's in the interactions that we, as pastors, have with our people.

I learned that when my shiny new worship service blew up in my face.

Several years ago we developed a contemporary service. Following the advice of several church growth gurus, we added rather than subtracted. We inserted the new service between two traditional services, opposite our Christian education hour. Not only were we able to disturb very little of our established Sunday morning structure, we also gave some parents ...

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