New Ideas, Old Church

Five steps for giving change a chance.

"Bull! This is all a bunch of bull!" Mrs. Abbott was somewhat displeased with my new ideas for children's ministry. Trying to bring change to an established congregation isn't easy.

Our church was one of the oldest in our denomination. The church has practiced the traditional Sunday school model forever. It was the most sacred of cows. But the Children's Committee had an increasingly difficult time recruiting volunteers, technology was changing the way children learn, and our ministry needed a shot in the arm. Our plan included moving the traditional Sunday school to a workshop rotation model (see, which prompted Mrs. Abbott's forceful comments.

However, I discovered a gem through this process: there's a way to bring significant change to even the most historic church. Our church adopted the new children's ministry model with little fighting, almost no wounds, and a lot of excitement. How can this be?

The gem I discovered was the "model for planned change," an eight-step ...

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