Things You Haven’t Heard About Leading Change – 8

In our last blog, we identified the necessary step for leading change–you must connect people to your PURPOSE. But how do you do that?

First, you have to identify that PURPOSE. And that starts with understanding the mission He has given you.

Jesus gave us the foundation for a world-changing mission. He launched His disciples (and us) with the command to “go and make disciples.” This is the assignment, the reason-for-being, the priority of every congregation. Frankly, if we’re not making disciples, something has to change.

But Jesus didn’t leave us with only a command. He also provided the method in what we know as the Great Commandment. He told us that the means of our efforts would be love–for God and for others. This is the “how-to” of our mission. We make disciples by focusing our hearts toward “Him and them.” When we give our very best to God and to others, then He promises to care for us.

Now, I could say a lot more about that mission (and I will in another blog), but the question of mission asks, “Are we doing that?”

You see, the desire to change flows from urgency–the need for a result different from the one we’re getting. Some churches engage change with a survival urgency. They face change because they will cease to exist if they don’t. Many declining churches are approaching the edge of extinction unless something changes. So they grudgingly accept change (often radical change) because there is no other way forward.

Survival urgency can help people accept change, but it’s usually short-lived. Once the crisis is passed, survival urgency diminishes and people return to what they have always been.

A better form of urgency is missional urgency. Missional urgency says, “We’re not fulfilling our mission. Something must change.” This kind of urgency is far more powerful that survival urgency because it can carry us to whatever change is necessary to get us back on track with our mission. As a leader, you want to create missional urgency. You want people to care deeply about the mission and become dissatisfied when its challenge isn’t being met.

So finding PURPOSE starts with exploring our mission. Are we getting the job done? Are making disciples? Are we loving God deeply? Are we encountering people with genuine love? If not, those requirements must spur us to a new dream, and ramp up our courage to chase it fully.

If you sense a need for change in your church, start reflecting on the mission Jesus gave us. The right steps can only come if we are aiming at the right target.

Next time, we’ll look at a second critical step, but no healthy change can come until we are prayerfully immersed in the Church’s mission, so go ahead and start hungering after it in new ways.

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