4 Ways to Lead Change with Your Team

You have a meeting coming up with your team in which you need to walk them through a change at your church … how should you structure the information? The way you communicate change is a critical part of the process.

The following approaches work well as frameworks for presentations in meetings. You could also use them in any communications to your team: emails, voice memos, ebooks, etc. When you are in the middle of a “change management” process, you need to communicate information over and over … don’t get stuck in a rut! Use a variety of approaches to explain why change is critical at your church.

  • The List // Create a list of items related to what you are talking about. The order doesn’t matter, but together the items should cover the entire topic. (Clearly, we use this framework all the time at unSeminary.)
    • Helpful: When there is a wide variety of items to present. Easy for people to jump in and out of.
    • Limitations: It can feel like a “fire hose” of information that people are left to categorize on their own.
    • Examples: 6 Changes Our Church is Making to Summer Camp; 12 Reasons We’re Canceling Sunday Evening Service; 3 Tools for Inviting Your Friends Next Weekend
    • [Click to download List PowerPoint Template]
  • Chronological // Take people on a journey! Start with what happened first and then lead them through the timeline of what happened next and finally to where things are going.
    • Helpful: This approach can be particularly helpful in “change management” situations because you can show how the future is connected to where the church has already been. This will reduce some people’s anxieties.
    • Limitations: Choose the “starting point” wisely. It needs to be the agreed upon beginning to move people towards where you are headed. If you start in the wrong part of the story, you’ll lose some people.
    • Examples: How Summer Camp Has Evolved Over the Years; The Story of How People Grow at Our Church; How Bill Got Connected to Our Church
    • [Click to download Chronological PowerPoint Template]
  • Compare & Contrast // Draw out the differences between two ideas or approaches to show where you want to go.
    • Helpful: This works particularly well when people have experienced what you are comparing. Take people to a church that is excelling in one area and compare it to how your church is performing in the same area.
    • Limitations: This approach can be distracting if the comparison isn’t crystal clear because you’ll spend most of your time bringing people up to speed, rather than focusing on how it should impact your church.
    • Examples: Lessons Learned from Walt Disney World to Apply to Our Camp; A Survey of Service Times from 10 of the Fastest Growing Churches in the Country; How Chick-fil-A Grows and What that Means for Our Church
    • [Click to download Compare & Contrast PowerPoint Template]
  • Problem & Solution // Explore the problem your church is facing and then present the solution to relieve it! “Aggravating” the problem is key to this approach. People need to feel and understand the problem before they will move forward. We change when the pain of staying the same is bigger than the pain to change.
    • Helpful: Great for when the stakes are high and change needs to happen quickly. Draws a stark contrast between what is and what needs to be.
    • Limitations: Use this approach sparingly and wisely. When done effectively, people will feel the pain associated with not changing. However, sometimes that pain generates unpredictable responses in how people respond.
    • Examples: Camp Is Broken … This is How We’ll Fix It; Better Uses for Sunday Evenings at Our Church; What Happens When People Stop Inviting Friends to Church
    • [Click to download Problem & Solution PowerPoint Template]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

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