5 Steps for Leading Change

GOOD MORNING! Do you have a hard time adjusting back to the routine after vacation? Sometimes I think I need a vacation after the vacation! Linda and I had a wonderful time away, but readjusting to reality is a challenge.


Let’s talk about change. If we are really honest, we all resist change. The only people who like change are the ones initiating it. Think of driving a sports car. You may be thrilled maneuvering through the hairpin corners, but the passengers in the back seat are getting sick. As leaders, we need to remember that real change involves people, not just a good idea. Remember that old Chinese proverb? “He that thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.” Here’s some principles I’m learning about leading change.

  1. Take time to listen. Too often I make assumptions about the past and present situation. Everything has its reasons, whether they are good or bad. Only listening helps me get perspective. Listening helps build rapport and gives insight into what changes are needed. Key Question: Have I taken the time to really understand the situation before leading into this change?
  1. Give change time. If you are like me, when you see something that needs to be changed, you want it to happen yesterday! I’m embarrassed to admit that often I’ve approached change only from my time table. I didn’t take time to explain enough. I just thought, because I was the pastor and preached it, everyone should line up and follow. Key Question: Am I clearly explaining the reason for change and giving people enough time to change?
  1. Change for the benefit of others, not yourself. Because we see life from our own perspective, it is easy to justify change that helps ourselves. The best kind of change helps everyone, but as leaders we need to be willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others. Key Question: Will this change simply make my life easier, or will it help others and the ministry?
  1. Be aware of your attitude If I am critical and condescending, change will be resented and rejected. Change can be taken one of two ways: something is so bad, it needs my correction or we can improve and build on what we have. The latter is more likely to build consensus and cooperation. We need to honor the past and not discount it. Key Question: What is my attitude towards the past and people I’m working with? 
  2. Love people, not your ideas. Looking back, I was often more enthralled with a new idea more than the people I was trying to lead. Here’s fact: We cannot lead effectively, unless we love consistently. Andy Stanley put it this way, “What groups traditionally push back against you and the local church? That is who you should figure out how to love!”

    Andy Stanley put it this way, “What groups traditionally push back against you and the local church? That is who you should figure out how to love!”

    Somehow we need to learn to love the resisters, not alienate them. Key Question: Have I earned the right to change things by truly loving others?


What are some things you have learned about leading change? What challenges are you facing right now? I’d love your feedback.

Be the first to comment on this blog.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Folmer Strunk says:

    About ten years ago I was in group, listening to a speaker who told us: “You are change agents…the reason people will change is if they are uncomfortable where they are.” You can try to make people change by ordering them, commanding them, driving them, etc. I prefer to “dangle a carrot” in front of them, a desire that makes them want to change from where they are.


  2. Pingback: Taking Time Off

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s