Introducing Change

March 11th, 2014

When should change be initiated in a local church? Perhaps you have heard the adage you should wait at least a year until you get to know the people. I find, especially as an interim, the exact opposite to be true. If you wait, people remain accustomed to the “old” way of doing things and wonder why you have waited to make the changes you want to make. Additionally, I want congregants to feel a sense of urgency to be the church of Jesus Christ so I began a series of changes in the worship experience after week three of my being pastor. These changes are in the order of worship and in making the worship a little more "liturgical."

It is now week nine and those changes have been put in place and for the most part the response has been positive. Simple explanations of why I believed in the changes have sufficed and we have not had to go to long committee meetings explaining the theological and biblical principles behind why I wanted to do these changes. Additionally I remind congregants in conversations that when they receive a new “younger” pastor more changes may be coming to help the church attract a younger demographic and to fulfill its mission making disciples of Jesus Christ and of transforming the local community around them. Of course, it may help that while I am the first seminary trained elder in a while to pastor these churches I also am out visiting. In many smaller churches visiting and the worship experience on Sunday are the two main fruitfulness criteria by which your ministry will be evaluated.

If changes need to occur why wait? Let’s instill urgency in our pastoring to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world (or at least the surrounding community).

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