Posted 4 years 305 days ago ago by Doug Lawrence 0 Comments
Change is inevitable in life, and in ministry. Here are seven ways to manage change.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
There’s nothing like preparation to undo the pitfalls of facing new challenges. It calms the soul and allows for considering all the possibilities available.
Always Keep Your Eyes Open for New Resources
There’s nothing wrong with old resources, but if you’re not always looking for new ones you’ll go stale and be less prepared for a constantly changing world. This is probably one of the biggest challenges for every church musician.
Find ways to say goodbye to things in order to say hello to new things
It’s O.K. to part company with ideas, dearly held, in order to embrace new ideas, which will define your future. Avoid doing this at your own risk, I remember a dear friend of mine (no names please) who swore an oath that his church would never do any of “those new praise songs,” because his church had “better taste than that!” He was wrong and even admitted it to me finally.
Redefining what you have to have vs. what you think you must have is a good process for anyone, but it is most assuredly good for people who are spending church resources
When I first started in church music the rule was simple—try to increase your budget a little each year in order to build your stockpile of ministry tools. About 20 years into my career, I learned that some years I just didn’t need as much money. Nobody punished me for decreasing my wish list. As a matter of fact, I found myself being rewarded with additional funds because I was a good steward of the money I had!
Getting rid of things you don’t need any longer is a wonderful way to examine the changes your program has slowly (or rapidly) undergone
Keep stuff hanging around for years and years without using it and someone is going to accuse you of hoarding—bad thing! If you can’t use it, give it to someone across town who can use it! Storing it makes you look like an "empire builder” and that’s not a pretty thing.
Don’t limit yourself to one time zone!
One of the things I find most distasteful in the modern church is the need to be, think, do, and act in only one way. Yuk! Look back and look forward all the time! There's is much to savor from other times and places—don’t get locked in sameness—it’ll kill you.
BUT, at the same time, learn to be content with the wonder of your local church culture. You don’t have to be the First Church of Big Ideas and Wild Extravagance! You’re you—enjoy!
Make peace with change
It's not the worst thing in the world to change. However, it IS the worst thing to make changes just because you think you should always be changing. Here’s a classic example…
I know of one church that capitalized on the success of the wonderful “Forty Days of Purpose” program, and then repeated it every year for three years. It nearly killed their attendance. In some churches that might have been a great idea, but in this particular one they desperately needed to find some other program to explore. Know where you are and with whom you’re dealing and act accordingly.
hange is good—give it a try. All kinds of good comes from all kinds of hard!
Doug Lawrence, internationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, helps churches assess and improve their skillfulness in creating engaging worship experiences by utilizing his more than 35 years of "deep trench" worship leadership in prominent mainline churches. has been a consultant to church leaders for 35 years and is anxious to be helpful to you in leadership, musical, and staffing considerations. Or, if you wish, call 650.207.8240 for assessment information and scheduling.
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