I saw an interesting notice on Vimeo last night.
It said “We built you a new Vimeo. Want to give it a try?”
The two options were: ”Try it Now”, and “I Hate Change”.
As church leaders, that’s the choice that many people make as we make changes at our churches.
We all know people that will give the change a try, and those that will kick and scream because they hate change.
As leaders, the people who will give it a try are a blessing. Those that hate change can be a curse… in fact, I’ve seen many a pastor’s demise by one or more people who simply hate change.
So… what do you do with these two groups of people?
Here are some suggestions:
1. For the people who will give it a try… don’t discount them. Just because they are willing to give new things a try does not mean that they embrace or even like change. Work with them and bring them along with the change by getting feedback, and input. And if you’re trying something that’s not working (even though you thought it would), don’t be afraid to pull back. There’s nothing worse than a leader that keeps beating a dead horse (especially when the horse laying there on the ground was your idea in the first place and everyone knows it).
Most people who are willing to give it a try are trusting in your leadership. They are also more forgiving when you make a mistake. Those are valuable people. Treat them with care.
2. For the people who choose to hate change… many of them will hate change for change’s sake. For some, it really doesn’t make any difference what the idea or change is… the are pre-disposed NOT to like it. And, believe it or not, that’s ok.
This group is a hard one to crack. But you have two angles: First, personal one-on-one communication is key. Talk to them personally. Give them your idea… your direction. Allow their input. Ask for their support. Funny thing is… when you ask for their support for at least a short period of time, they have to tell you either yes or no. If they say yes, it is harder for them to complain publicly. If they say no, then you know where they are and that leads down a totally different path.
The second way to deal with this group is through mutual friends. Believe it or not, those who hate change often hang with people who are willing to give change a shot. Usually, one group will influence the other. A good leader will recognize this and be on top of it. Use your fans to be your advocate. Ask the people willing to change to ask others to be willing to change. The reaction they receive may be well different than the one you receive (particularly if the first option doesn’t go well).
How do you get people to give change a chance?
Have you ever encountered someone who would not change if Jesus came down from Heaven and commanded it?
I’d love to hear your stories and experiences!
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