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Afraid to Change?

By Zach

The phrase that sounds like nails on a chalkboard to any of us who have ever attended a planning meeting... "That's not the way we used to do it".  This phrase is painful simply because it isn't uttered to protect the organization from repeating a mistake (then it would be "We tried that and _______ happened."), but instead the phrase generally represents a stick-in-the-mud. The idea to change is brought about because a need is recognized or the current method is not effectively meeting a need. There is no sense in reinventing a round wheel nor is there sense in driving on a flat.

Every day the need to share the Gospel increases. In the past 25 years the world population grew by a little over 2 billion people, that's billion, with a B. The failure of our churches to simply keep up with growth in population represents the existence of inefficiencies. When an unmet or under-served need is realized there is an opportunity to make changes - simply knowing that something isn't working [well enough] doesn't fix a thing though.

I am constantly evaluating and looking for these opportunities both in my career and in my personal life. I learned the hard way that simply ignoring a need doesn't make it go away, instead it just keeps showing itself and can become quite frustrating. Here are a few of my thoughts about making changes.

• Doing nothing in many cases may make things worse.

• Just changing for the sake of changing may also make things worse.

• Trying to please everyone isn't as important as meeting the need.

There is immense value in reflecting on experience before proceeding. Even more value in spending time in prayer - not just for what to do next but for vision to be able to understand what could be created. At this point all we've done is plan. Nothing can come from a plan that isn't executed. Take a leap of faith and try something different!

Making changes to your event or regular church activities can be a breath of fresh air. Just for example, say your event over the past several years has fallen short on building relationships and in correlation there has been fewer responding to altar calls. Repeating the same schedule of activities would just be crazy- it would not improve a thing. There is more risk in not changing because the perception guests will have is that it's just getting worse and no longer worth attending. Trace the problem back to the source - people aren't connecting. So try replacing free-time where people might connect with each other with some structured group activities. 

Where are the unmet needs in your event? What improvements can you make? Are you willing to take a leap of faith?

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626