Leading Through Change in Your Church

In any healthy church organization there is bound to be change. It could be changes in staff, schedule, location, or all of the above.

As leaders in a church, there are steps you can take to lead through the change and make your church members feel comfortable and excited versus anxious about the changes ahead. Here are 5 tips to help you lead through change in your church:

Organize and Plan
As your organization experiences changes, there are many different things that may need to shift.

For example, if you have staff changes it is important to make sure the responsibilities of the staff member leaving are taken care of by another staff member, volunteer, or a combination of both. Planning ahead to make sure everything that staff member is responsible for is taken care of will ensure there are no gaps in the church experience for members and visitors.

If you are changing service times, planning ahead to change all the areas the current service times are communicated or are printed is important. Making sure you are organized and have a plan for changing the website, social media accounts, potty pubs, brochures and possibly outdoor signs will prevent confusion with members and new visitors.

Being prepared and planning any changes early on will help you, your staff, and your members get comfortable with the new changes.

Communicate Early and Clearly
When planning a new change to anything in your church, make sure you communicate the change to your staff early. It’s also important to prepare your staff for potential questions they may be asked and what to say in those situations.

Then, as soon as you can, communicate the new information early and clearly to your church members. This helps your members feel comfortable by knowing what is happening and that you are staying on top of all the changes that are to come.

Stay Consistent
As you move closer and through whatever new changes are taking place in your church, be consistent about what you share with both your staff and church members. This will prevent confusion with all people involved. Staying consistent with your messages to all people also reinforces the comfort each person needs to feel as new change occurs.

Stay Positive
Change can often cause people to be nervous and can be seen as negative … if you let it. When communicating new changes, focus on the positives this change will bring. Be upbeat as you communicate these changes, and you can create excitement versus anxiety with staff and church members.

Spread Out New Changes When Possible
There is a time and a place for most things that happen. Many times staff changes are not easily planned out, however other changes within the church can be managed in certain time frames. As an example, if you have experienced a lot of staff turnover, you may want to put off changing locations if you have that option.

Being conscious of new changes and spreading them out appropriately will help staff and members feel comfortable in knowing there is a method to the changes occurring. This will also prevent people from feeling chaotic. When you spread out and plan changes appropriately, you can project the feeling of comfort your staff and members need to keep attending regularly and inviting new visitors.

Change is inevitable and often necessary. How you handle that change within your church can make all the different in the success and growth of your church. Additionally, as you continue your walk as a leader in the church, here are a couple recommended books to help move you forward as a leader.

It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It

Boundaries for Leaders by Henry Cloud

Do you have questions or need help as a church-leader? Reach out to us here for a free 20-minute consultation.

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