Laying the Groundwork for Change

I once asked one of my mentor pastors, (make sure you have one of those) who is in his 90’s now, how he was able to implement major changes in a large, traditional church. (If you’ve never tried it…trust me…it’s not easy.) He had a history of successfully leading churches and I knew he had surely faced opposition to change.

His advice was simple, yet profound.

After he had prayerfully decided change was needed, he said he always laid his groundwork first. Before he took an item to the church, or even a governing body (in this case a body of deacons), he always had meetings with key people to introduce the change, gain input, and solicit support. He asked himself, “Who is influential within certain circles? Who can ‘kill the deal’? Who can ‘make it happen’? Who can make the change even better?”

Then, using some of the ideas generated and the support already built, he attempted to implement the change.

I’ve never forgotten that advice.

Sometimes the meetings before the meeting are the most important.

When you are convinced change is necessary and prayerfully landed on a direction you feel is best, build a core group of supporters for your idea first. Flesh it out with people you trust and who are influential with other people. Even be willing to adjust your ideas to make them better and stronger. Then attempt to tackle the change.

You’ll find yourself with a greater success rate.

What tips do you have for implementing change?

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4 thoughts on “Laying the Groundwork for Change

  1. My former Pastor was masterful at instituting change. Leading our faith family through a variety of building projects, he offered very similar advice. 1) Determine your key influencers 2) Meet with them one on one. 3) Get them on board by casting the vision, listening to their concerns, and including them in the problem-solving 4) Share a clear, missional vision. 5) Stay on course.

    Great post!