This is a continuation of my post from yesterday, which discussed Pastor Harry Reeder’s talk about how leaders create a culture for change. Listening to it was part of our teaming process.
Lay leaders are also important in any transitional process. Here are some of the ways they contribute to successful change:
- Take a pulse of the congregation; let the Pastor know where the people are in the process
- Pray with and for individuals in the congregation
- Remember the Pastor can’t shepherd everybody so lay leaders can be there for fellow members who are hurting
- Find ways to communicate change
Good change agents know that VISION PROMOTES CHANGE. We must all have a vision of what we want our congregation to look like, and we must communicate that to others. Harry Reeder says successful change agents should:
- Bring change respectfully, not judgmentally
- Start with affirmation
- Be patient
- Find a way to be a good loser (not every change will be accepted)
- Use logic and passion to persuade with gentleness and without emotional manipulation
- Don’t surprise people
- Admit your own mistakes
I found this CD both inspiring and helpful. One big takeaway — good leaders build morale and achieve consensus. That’s what we’re working toward here at St. Paul’s. Readers, pray for us to be successful.
I’m going to veer off topic in this post to blog about something our church is considering. St. Paul’s is 191 years old and our congregation is small and growing older. The church is not located in a “growth” area of our county. Our pastor and leaders are concerned about the future: Does God have a plan for us? Will we be able to survive and thrive? Who will carry the gospel forward in Leitersburg, Md.?
The book, From Embers to a Flame, by Harry Reeder outlines a program for church revitalization. It is about church health, not church growth and is very biblically based. Topics include: The Biblical Paradigm for Revitalization, The Gospel of God’s Grace, The Role of Prayer, Mission and Vision, Great Commission Discipleship. So far our congregation has held cottage meetings, instituted a Wednesday evening prayer service, and started a Sunday School unit on our vision statement to be followed by a study of 1 Timothy (which Reeder calls a handbook of church revitalization).
Later this month a representative from the Fanning the Flame ministry will be visiting with us to tell us more about what their program offers. We will need to make a wise decision as it will require an investment of not just money, but personal commitment if we proceed. I hope our readers will pray with us for our congregation, for discernment and for our spiritual growth of our members. I also hope other authors from St. Paul’s will give their perspective on how things are going as we forge ahead!