Ten Things I'd Do Differently

Ten things I'd do differently if I were starting to transition today.

1. I would answer the "why" questions first.
Even though I was warned by every book and speaker to change values before attempting to change structure, I still tried to implement structural change first. This had several detrimental side effects including: a) losing members who resisted the change simply because they did not understand the reasoning behind the shift, b) continual backtracking, side tracking, and back-filling as my understanding of cells grew, and c) heightened fear from those in the congregation who couldn't see the method behind the madness.

2. I would be more careful in leader selection.
One of the first cells I established was filled with hand-picked leaders. It collapsed within two months and many of those initial leaders ended up leaving the church at some point during the transition. I had chosen those initial cell leaders from a program-generated criteria; I looked for people who could "make it so." During that same time period I pointed out one woman in the church to my wife and sagely declared "She will never be a leader in this church." That woman later on became a cell leader, zone director, and is now considering a call to become a zone pastor on staff. She is not a "make it so" kind of person but is highly relational. She knows how to listen to God and she knows how to listen to people. My best leaders are this way: low control and highly relational.

3. I would pray and look for "called" leadership. If someone leads because I have recruited them they will not last over the long haul. If someone leads because God has recruited them they will grow stronger by the year. When trouble comes (and it always does), it is much more effective to appeal to their call to God rather than their commitment ...

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