What are we to focus on during times of organizational change? Here are three priorities for leaders during a season of significant change in your church’s life:
a. Hospitality: Express biblical love for strangers. This is the literal definition of hospitality in the original New Testament. We are called to welcome and listen to those who are experiencing these changes in a very different way than we are. Richard Philips says something profoundly simple yet often forgotten in times of change: “Unity takes place in the context of personal relationships.”
b. Communication: Speak what is helpful for encouraging and building up; guard against gossip and false assumptions. We can discuss anything, but we do so in a healthy, constructive and edifying way. Refuse to be negative and spread slander. Go directly to those with whom you have a problem and, above all, remember you have the log in your eye and others have the speck in theirs. Why? Because our sin is against a perfectly Holy Father. From our vantage point, others’ sin against us is against another finite, limited, sinful human being.
c. Participation: Disengagement is a natural response during a season of change. We can take a “wait and see” attitude. However, our calling as God’s people is to remain fully engaged and committed to each other. It is important to renew commitments to Christ, to each other, to generosity and to the future of the church. How easy it is to identify problems and armchair quarterback leaders. How difficult it is to craft and implement proactive and thoughtful solutions to those problems. Commit yourself to be a part of the solution rather than strictly diagnosing problems.