Leading Organic Transformation
If we build it they will come.
We just need some new “Programs”.
Let’s take out the pews and put chairs in the sanctuary.
I think we need some new blood. We need to get some young guys on our leadership team.
We need some ‘contemporary music’.
Sound familiar? These are all comments that I have heard regarding the revitalization of a local church. Each statement exhibits a serious distortion and misunderstanding of the nature of the church and true biblical transformation.
Organizational Transformation. The initiatives listed above facilitate organizational transformation. They are one dimensional. They may change procedures but in and of themselves they do not produce transformation. People are generally willing to embrace such change because it requires little or no personal sacrifice or accountability. There is no threat to their comfort level. They can continue ‘as is’ and point to these ‘changes’ as ‘evidence’ that they are open to transformation. Except, these initiatives do not lead to personal or corporate transformation. They do not bring people face to face with the true and living God Who is interested in holiness much more than happiness among His people.
Organic Transformation. This involves changing the DNA of a local church. It is sometimes likened to “riding the bull”. The picture tells the story. There are risk galore, challenges that stretch leaders to the breaking point. People love their comfort zones. Transformation inherently requires change, leaving the comfort zone and stepping out into unknown territory. The old ‘flat earth’ proponents used to say of this challenge – ‘there be dragons out there’. Yes, and you will meet them when you lead this type of transformation.
There are essentials in this process. My readers will do well to embrace these items as you “ride the bull!”
1. Scripture. The church is the Bride of Christ. Be wise and honor His directives. They are clear.
2. Time. There are no quick fixes. Effective transformation requires 3-5 years in most cases.
3. Competent Leadership.Apply accurate analysis and research. Slower is faster. Build Trust!
4. Purpose. Establish Biblical Operative Purpose that the body embraces & practices consistently.
5. Decision Making. Decisions must be collaborative and Leadership must speak with on voice.
The current trend is church planting. That is essential and I celebrate that with much joy. However, there are thousands of existing ministry settings that urgently need Reformation & Renewal. The average Pastor is capable of leading this process. He needs the Holy Spirit’s enabling grace, humility, courage and abundant perseverance. He must develop a Leadership Team that takes the Journey with him and no truning back. He must know that God is and will provide and use him in this vital process.
The SBC has 55 Billion in property, buildings and parking lots in the USA. The utilization of this space is often less than 10% of the 168 hours in a given week, We must exercise better stewardship of these resources. Reformation and Revitalization includes addressing this issue. The facilities at the church where I just finished 15 years of Pastoral Leadership has a utilization factor of 72-75 hours per week. 112 hours is about the maximum utilization. How does the church you serve measure up on this factor?
Finally, Dr. Al Mohler’s new book The Conviction To Lead is a great resource tool. The 25 factors he cites are spot on for leading Organic Transformation. Get a copy, pray earnestly and give us a call (800 472 3764). We will walk with you down this Dragon Filled Bull Riding road. God will use YOU to do this Pastor as you are unconditionally surrendered to Him!