As a former youth minister and self-confessed nerd, I have always enjoyed reading about trends in the church as it relates to church growth. As a Christ follower, I firmly believe in the role of the local church in building up the body and sending Christians out to GO and spread the good news of the gospel. The culture we live in presents constant challenges to the church…but that’s been true since the early church in Acts 2. Some of what we have to deal with is a cakewalk compared to what they walked through!
I’ve had the privilege of reading several books by Thom Rainer in the last few years and just finished Who Moved My Pulpit? Leading Change in the Church. This book was a quick read and I continue to enjoy Rainer’s storytelling approach to give some context to the points that he is making about change in the church. I highlighted several things while reading and have posted my notes below…
- We who are action-oriented and ready to see change sooner than later often overlook or forget Nehemiah’s first step. It’s right there in Nehemiah 1:4: “When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”
- Nehemiah fasted and prayed for a number of days before taking steps to lead change. He knew he could not lead this effort without the wisdom, strength, and courage of God.
- Leaders naturally have a growing impatience to see progress. There is a tendency among many of us to move forward without prayer.
- Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
- It takes courage to be a change leader in the church. Opposition and resistance often come frequently and fiercely. But too much is at stake to do otherwise.
Confront the realities.
Communicate the realities.
And communicate with a sense of urgency.
The choice is simple; change or die.
- Lone Ranger leaders only have one opinion: their own. And if they start having challenges and problems, they have no one to turn to because they have no one in their coalition for change.
- Leaders who embody hope in their churches have three clearly defined traits:
They read the Bible daily.-You can’t have hope if you’re not hearing from the Author of hope every day.
They choose to communicate hope.
They look for low-hanging fruit.
- We don’t have the luxury of not keeping it urgent.
- The Process of Leading Change:
Stop and Pray
Confront and Communicate a Sense of Urgency
Build an Eager Coalition
Become a Voice and Vision of Hope
Deal with People Issues
Move from an Inward Focus to an Outward Focus
Pick Low-Hanging Fruit
Implement and Consolidate Change
- Proverbs 11:14 “Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.”
- Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”