Remember the first time you rode your bike "solo," without training wheels or the steadying hand of a parent? What excitement! It's the same feeling when you begin a new ministry. Your future is exciting and full of promise. That first solo ride and that first day in your new ministry have other similarities. Take for example the turn you had to make at the end of the street. If you just turned the front wheel abruptly, without leaning in the direction you wanted to go, it was "crash and burn" time.
The first time you try to change the direction of your ministry, you, also, may experience a "crash and burn" situation. In a worst case scenario, you may be the one to experience change, to a new church. It can happen all too fast. But just as you learned how to turn your bike safely, you can learn how to make effective yet safe changes in your ministry.
Leaning into a turn allows you to change direction gradually. Your new ministry may cry out for change. You may even have been given a mandate to bring change. But, if you're wise, you will make those changes gradually because leading a new ministry requires that you understand the people and structures already present. There is a lot to learn and do before you can effectively and safely change the direction of your ministry.
Most people think of change as a single action. But more effective and lasting change comes through a four-step process: identify, join, encourage and, finally, change direction.
Step 1 - Identify the current direction: Your first solo bike ride only came after a lot of preparation.
- Tell your supervisor/elders that you plan to implement change gradually over a six to nine month period. Be sure they understand this is not idle time but time that's needed to insure effective long-term change.