President Obama promised Americans, “Change that we can believe in.” Since he has been in office, changes and possible changes have been implemented or are being debated. This blog is not about the merits of these changes but to simply discuss dealing with change.
Daryl Conner wrote the book, Managing at the Speed of Change, How Resilient Managers Succeed and Prosper Where Others Fail. Conner has observed that “the single most important factor in managing change effectively is the degree to which people demonstrate resilience: the capacity to absorb high levels of change while displaying minimal dysfunctional behavior.”
The newspaper headlines read daily of corporate mergers, impending strikes, political unrest and constant restructuring. Leaders in growing churches are faced with a multitude of issues such as a shortfall of budget, a shortage of workers, lack of worship and education space, shortage of parking spaces, personnel issues, etc. A growing church needs increased resilience to deal with these issues just like corporations need resilience to deal with the market pressures that they face daily. As a church consultant, I witnessed weekly that many churches fail to even acknowledge change.
At the Tennessee Baptist Convention, we are facing the unknown of who will take Dr. Porch’s place as Executive Director, declining budgets, same work with less personnel, the national issue of where do State Conventions fit in with the future of the Southern Baptist Convention. These are real concerns that could paralyze me unless I am able to be resilient.
According to Conner, when people can no longer absorb the change, they begin to display dysfunctional behavior. Christians need to remember and believe that God is in control and let this be our anchor. We must not allow ourselves to feel like victims and become dysfunctional in our behavior. We must surrender ownership of our lives to our Lord and Savior and trust in him to help us through these unusual days.