What I’ve learned about – handling times of change

It’s a bit of a cliche to say that change is a constant, but it is true.  Change is not a Church thing,  a Kairos thing, or a mission thing.  Change is part of life.  Having said that, there do seem to be seasons where the rate of change quickens, for some of us and our MSCs this is one of those moments.

Some of us tend to see change as exciting, an opportunity for adventure. Others of us will see it more in terms of a threat or a loss. In truth, most changes are a bit of both.

circle-kairos-learning-circleSo how do we handle times of change well as leaders?  Well, change creates a kairos moment and we have the opportunity to respond through repentance and belief.

Here are four things I’ve realised I do, and where I think they fit on the learning circle.

Observe – Look Back

Dan H reminded those of us at 9am prayers yesterday morning to remember the good things God has done in the past (you can read more of his thoughts on this here).  Joshua had the people of Israel place 12 stones by the Jordan to remind them of God’s goodness.  What has He done in your MSC that you can look back at and gain courage for the new season?

We’ve led several MSCs (I think our current score is 7) in different places over the years.  None of them were perfect (looking back involves learning from mistakes), some of them ended messily, but in each there was fruit, growth and discipleship.  As we think about change and movement in our lives I’m finding that remembering those communities and the friends who were part of them has been very encouraging.

Reflect – Wait

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.  Psalm 37:7

When change hits it can be so easy to go into default modes of panic, fix or fret. Resist these and wait.  Take the time to listen to God, to reflect and pray.

Waiting doesn’t need to be passive, it can be about asking God – what about this?  It can be quite active (think about a waiter).  Waiting can involve seeking – looking for where God is and listening carefully to discern what He is saying.

Discuss and Account – Connect

Change can lead people to be isolated, especially if they don’t really like or understand what is going on.  When an MSC changes that can lead some to drop off the radar.

Make sure you connect with others, make sure you keep your connection with God.  Keep an eye out for each other.

Plan and Act – Decide

Too much change can be bewildering; which way do we go, how do we respond?  As I’ve thought about some of the changes we are facing as a family I found it easy to get stuck, to worry so much about the right decision that I don’t do anything.

So often the stories of change in the bible involve an encouragement to choose.  Think about Joshua asking the people who they will serve before he dies (Joshua 23), or Jesus commissioning the disciples at the end of Matthew.  There are decisions to be made and things to do.  Encourage one another to make confident decisions for discipleship and for God.