A Saturday post for weekend staff [and all church staff, really]. Our job is to help the people of our congregations to move past whatever is holding them back in their relationship with God. It may be a next step, it may be breaking a sin pattern, it may be the first step – actually coming to faith in Jesus. We are “change agents” by our very nature, and many of us in church leadership [myself included] are wired that way to the extreme. Because of that, healthier churches tend to change a lot. That’s a good thing – if churches don’t change and grow, they die…

However, the flip side is that we live a world where people are DROWNING in change. Things are moving at such a pace that even the most forward-thinking among us are sometimes overwhelmed. So, what to do? Lead people into the future gently – help them to transition, but keep the costs of those transitions in mind, and don’t do too many at once.

Let’s use worship as an example… It’s a common scenario for worship leaders to be frustrated by the unwillingness of some congregational members to embrace new songs or changes in worship style. However, what has happened in many cases is that those same congregational members had a deep spiritual experience somewhere in the past – and they “imprinted” there. They came face-to-face with God and were changed. They knew in their hearts at that moment that He is good…and true…and pure…and holy. 

That’s an incredibly good thing – so what’s the problem? Some of them got stuck there, and the entire experience was viewed as being “right” – permanently. That place, that pastor, that worship leader, that song, that style… Like I said above, they’re stuck. They don’t mean to be negative, it’s just hard for them to embrace something that doesn’t seem “right” anymore…

So, lead gently, acknowledge the goodness and truth of what has happened before, while compassionately inspiring the congregation to help create new “right” moments for the generations to come. 

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