How to Get Essential Leaders on Board with Change

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Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at Exponential on the topic of transitioning a church with small groups to a church with Missional Communities. A few asked for some notes on it and thought I’d do a few blog posts on it.

The first step in this process is to start with why and the win of this transition. The second step is to get essential leaders on board. This is simple change theory and applies to any change a leader is thinking about making, but it is incredibly important as we talk about transitioning a church from small groups to missional communities.

The reason is: groups and MC’s are so different that it will change everything about your church. It is not simply adding “missional” to your church, but changes everything. 

When you make any change or transition you need to be able to answer these questions: Who needs to know? When do they need to know it?

A few other things to ask: What leaders will be the most crucial to making this transition happen? Who are the people in this church (leadership by title or leadership by influence) who can keep this transition from happening that I need to get on board early?

Too many leaders when they make a change think they can bulldoze through it because “they’ve heard from God” or “are the leader.”

When we transitioned from groups to MC’s, we made a list of everyone we thought who could be an MC leader and I met with them to cast the vision, invite them into the process and join in being a part of this. By the time we announced the change to our church, almost 30% of our church knew about the change, why we were making it and were on board with it.

This is the moment the change becomes real because you invite people into it. 

Up until this moment, the change or transition is simply a dream, a hope, a prayer in your mind. This moment is when you put the flag in the ground and bring others into it.

To get the leaders on board that you need, you will have to make sure the change is clear, thought out and you can answer questions.

In short: be as clear as possible. 

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Links of the Week

  1. Steve Jobs on the branding of Apple. Branding is so important and churches miss the boat so many times. Branding can have to do with mission, your church name, logo, etc. Pastors need to think through branding more because it is how you can be easily remembered and identified in your city. This is why we named ourselves Revolution and use 3 dots for our logo.
  2. How Christians can be faithful and politically present in our culture. Interesting interview.
  3. John Piper spent 224 sermons preaching through the book of Romans, but you can listen to these 11 messages and get the big picture overview. You can download the 11 key messages here.
  4. Forbes on Nextflix killed Blockbuster, but Apple, Amazon and Microsoft won’t be so easy.
  5. Mark Galli on Insignificant is Beautiful.
  6. The next Acts 29 boot camp is in Phoenix next week. So excited about spending the week at it.
  7. Kevin DeYoung on What’s wrong with theistic evolution. This is an interesting interview with the editor of the new book God & Evolution.
  8. One year later: an interview with Matt Chandler and what having cancer has taught him.
  9. What pastors and business leaders can learn from each other.
  10. Al Mohler on What we know from the elections on Tuesday.
  11. Download the audio from Acts 29 Seattle Boot Camp. Great stuff.
  12. Have you bought coffee yet to support our adoption? You can do so here (it’s really good).
  13. Watch this video of Andy Stanley talking about momentum. Anything with Andy Stanley on leadership is worth listening to or reading.
  14. Will Mancini on The tyranny of more. He lists out the 6 myths that cause churches to try to do everything. Revolution is a simple church, which means we only do 5 things (worship, groups, mission, students and children’s ministry). It is this clarity that I believe is one of our strengths as a church. I just preached on it if you are interested.
  15. Changing a church culture. Cultures are hard to change because they are so natural in how they come about. You have to change thinking, not just what you do to change a church.
  16. Ed Stetzer’s thoughts on Jim Swilley (a Prominent megachurch pastor) who came out of the closet this week. Stetzer raises some great questions that churches and leaders have to wrestle through in terms of how we respond to homosexuality and what Scripture has to say. While Scripture is clear where God stands on it, we have often missed the boat in communicating that and all the layers to the discussion. We need to do better at communicating truth.

Don’t Solve a Problem That’s Not a Problem

One of the critical jobs of every leader is problem solving. Often, solving problems means taking very little information and making a decision based on that little information.

One thing that pastors seem to be notorious for (at least I am) is solving problems that aren’t problems. Something doesn’t go right, we start a new ministry and no one shows up, a creative piece falls flat, a marketing tool does not bring in the people we thought, a new direction or vision is laid out and no one is excited.

Are these problems? Potentially.

The problem is that we start to solve them before we know. One night of something not going right does not constitute a problem, it’s one night. We make changes and then when they don’t work once, we quickly make adjustments to them. Now, sometimes adjustments need to be made. Sometimes we are able to see things that we can tweak to make something better.

But often, we solve problems that are not problems. Let something ride a little bit before you decide it is a problem. Let it show itself a problem before solving it.