March 18 2013
1. Delaying its effect
2. Abdicating the opportunity to be an agent of change rather than an unwilling victim of change.
How can leaders be change agents?
Envision possible futures: Change positions us for the future. You can’t move toward a future you can’t imagine.
Stop idealizing the past: This is especially true in the church arena where holding fast to correct theology and orthodox doctrine are the real concerns and responsibilities of every leader. However, we also need to recognize our human tendency to idealize the way things used to be. We tend to have selective memories and rose-colored glasses when it comes to “the good old days.” Even the Israelites looked back on their days of slavery as superior to their days in the wilderness when they realized their food was in short supply. Is it possible that we resist change in the name of orthodoxy, when really we have sacrificed future influence on the altar of our preferences?
Anticipate change that needs to happen before it needs to happen… and then start planning for it: Remember the famous biblical account of Jesus turning the water into wine? Before he did the miracle he told the servants to bring him all the vessels they could find. So they gathered 12 vessels, filled them with water, and then Jesus turned the water into wine. Notice that Jesus didn’t conveniently turn a pond or a well into wine to prove to them that he could turn the water into wine. He asked for vessel to fill first. When people saw the servants running around collecting vessels, I am sure they didn’t say, “Wow! What a miracle!” In fact, it’s likely the servants went completely unnoticed by everyone except Jesus. Faith that leads to supernatural transformation is often clothed in the unimpressive servants’ garb of hard work. For leaders, this usually means that we must be willing to mobilize people to Spirit-led serving in anticipation of growth and transformation rather than in response to it.
I believe that most people love routine by nature, but we should never allow our nature to become our “no” to God’s prompting to change.
March 18 2013