What’s in this Episode?
If you’ve wanted to make change in your church, but you fear the resistance of people, don’t worry, you could make the change. But you just need to know how to do it right. There are strategic simple things you could do to make changes that will help your church move forward. And in today’s episode, we’re going to continue our discussion of the nine steps to help people buy into change.
Read the Transcript
Dick Hardy 0:26
I remember the day like it was yesterday. We’re driving back from the Outer Banks in North Carolina back to the church and the pastor was driving, I’m over in the passenger seat, the administrator is in the backseat. And the pastor says to me, so Dick, you don’t really think this is a great idea do you? The great idea he was talking about was their property had two buildings on it, and they were going to spend, I don’t know $1 million, $2 million $3 million to connect the buildings with another building in the middle, And that was going to solve all their growth issues.
Now, let me tell you about this church. This church is a church of 1000 people on a two lane highway in a neighborhood that no one would ever drive by with a ground level sign that’s parallel to the road not perpendicular to it behind a bunch of trees. No one would ever find this church. And they’re going to spend a couple two, three million improving that property. And my answer, when he says you don’t think this is a very good idea do you? I said, no, it’s not a good idea. Hmm. That church, that moment, bought in to the fact that they were going to have to change and make a major move to another area of the city. And that in fact, is what they did. And they yucked it up when they saw me later at the pastors event saying, “yeah Dick, you’re the whole reason we did this and all the headache we went through, but it was the best thing they’ve ever done and they’re rocking and rolling today.
Why did I tell you that story? Because the leadership had to buy in, then they had to help the people in the church by in. If you don’t buy in, the change you try to make is not going to happen. So let’s get started here today. In the previous episode, we talked about four things that you can do to help people buy in, that church had to get big buy in. And so there were five more things that they had to do to get buy in. So Jonathan, get us started with that.
Step #5: Tie the Change to Personal Life Change
Jonathan Hardy 2:17
Yeah. And so the next step, this would technically be the fifth step to help get the buy in, you need to make the changes you need at your church is to tie the change to personal life change. It’s always important to go back to the why, you know, Simon Sinek was the, you know, the one probably his most popular for, you know, bringing awareness to this whole concept of why. Why do we do what we do? Why do I want to make the change that I want to make, and tie it to a reason because if you just want to make a change without a real solid reason, then people aren’t going to buy into it and they’re not going to want to make the change. In fact, they’re going to resist the change. But if you can tie it to personal life change and show how this change is gonna directly relate to accomplishing our mission as a church, ultimately in reaching more people, but maybe there would be other sub-missions, you could say that need to happen, or that could happen as a result. So whatever that might be in your context, you have to figure out well, what is the change going to do? How is this going to result in personal life change, and it could be helping get more people connected into the body of Christ. It could be a variety of things, but if you can’t tie it to personal life change, then you’re heading uphill, it’s an uphill battle for you.
Step #6: Leverage the Voice of Influencers
Dick Hardy 3:31
It really is really, and then coming right off that you want to leverage the voice of influencers. If you go way back in the day in John Maxwell’s first church, he talked about the fact that there was a guy on the board, I think he was on the board by the name of Claude and he had to get Claude on board with him and once Claude was with him, Claude’s not a staff member, but Claude was a voice. Claude was an influencer. I remember our first church that I was a part of and if Dell said it, or Dale said it, it would happen. And the same thing was true with that church in North Carolina. There were about two people that the pastor had to get on board, had to get them to buy in. And he was able to leverage the voice of those influencers. That’s critical. Number six.
Dick Hardy 4:19
Number seven, Jonathan.
Step #7 – Smile
Jonathan Hardy 4:20
Yeah, the seventh thing you want to do when you communicate to the people, whether it’s small groups of people, whatever form of communication you’re having, whatever groups of people you’re communicating to, you have to smile, you have to make sure that they see that you’re excited about this proposed change that you’re wanting to make. So in Episode Five, we talked about cascading communication. So if you didn’t listen to that episode, make sure to go and check that episode out. But the point is, you have to communicate it the right way. And one of the keys in communicating is smiling because if you don’t show enthusiasm, if you don’t show excitement for what you’re wanting to do, then people… just think about it logically, people are going to be like, “well, if you’re not very excited about it, why are we doing it?” Like, people want to get behind something that’s exciting, that’s fun, that’s energizing, and that starts simply with your facial expressions as you communicate of smiling.
Step #8: Relax
Dick Hardy 5:12
Exactly. You know, Jonathan and I just moments ago, we’re part of an organization and then the organization’s leader sent us a video, and the thumbnail clip of the video had him about a big change that he was going to make. They had a picture of him scowling. And I get that was the thumbnail, but the fact is, you gotta smile. I just want to reinforce what your face does when you’re communicating something like that. And right along with that, you want to relax. Now you may feel tense. You may feel the pressure of this change. But don’t be tense. I mean, ease up, guess what, the sun’s gonna come up tomorrow, and you’re going to be fine. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Yes, I know it’s important. Yes, I know that the change you’re making has critical ramifications for the church moving forward. But relax, people will respond better to people who smile, and to people who are relaxed versus tensing up. You tense up, the people you’re talking to are going to tense up. So relax.
Step #9: Make the Change
Dick Hardy 6:20
And the last one is to make the change. I’ve seen it happen, where pastors, they do these steps, they try to get everybody in, and they think they’re going the right way. And then they get to the end and they don’t do it. They don’t pull the trigger. Now, we’ve talked about, take your time, do this in an orderly way, you know, all these things. But once you’ve done it, you’ve processed it all the way through, you’ve done all nine of these steps, then you have to act, you’ve got to take the steps to act and move all the way through.
Jonathan Hardy 6:52
And if you don’t take the action, you actually did more damage than if you wouldn’t have just brought it up in the first place. Because you get people’s hopes up, you start casting this vision. And I’ve seen that happen to. And I remember a church who their staff person came and spoke with me one time, expressing their frustration and just needing counsel, because they were just frustrated that this pastor was wanting to make these changes had all this vision, but never implemented. And if you don’t implement, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot, with your people, with the rapport of the people. And so you have to make the change, you just have to do it.
Dick Hardy 7:26
Let’s do a little recap here of the last episode of this one, we’ve gone through nine things, nine steps to help people gain by in. Number one, pray in advance. Two, identify change as gain and not loss. Take your time, cascade your communication, tie change to personal life change, leverage the voice of influencers, smile, relax, and then make the change. What do you think? Anything else Jonathan?
Jonathan Hardy 7:56
That’s it. I just want to encourage you. This all is really a Leadership art. You know, this isn’t something you take lightly. This is something you need to do carefully, and you need to be wise in the way you lead to this. And if you can’t lead through it properly, then you can, you know, mess things up. And so that’s why we break this down for you, these nine particular steps. If you follow these steps right, you’re going to set yourself up for success. And that’s why I think it’s important for you if you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to take the Five Day Leadership Challenge. This is one of the ways where you can just invest in yourself as a leader and improve your leadership skills. So that when you come to have times for making changes and these types of things, you’re able to lead stronger and better and it will help you. So I would encourage you to take the Five Day Leadership Challenge. You just go to Leaders.Church/challenge. It’s five days, 15 minutes a day, it’s free. It’s a way for you to invest personally in some strategic leadership related concepts that are going to take your leadership from where it is now, no matter where it is now to the next level up or the next couple of levels up, so be sure to do that.
Jonathan Hardy 9:02
And then also, don’t forget to subscribe here on YouTube or on any podcast platform that you’re listening to hit that subscribe button. We want to make sure to get the notification of upcoming church tips, episodes to you. And thank you so much for being with us today. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, be blessed.
Subscribe & Follow:
- Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
- Follow on Spotify
- Subscribe to YouTube Channel
- Subscribe on Google Podcasts
- Like us on Facebook
- Follow us on Instagram
- Follow us on Twitter
- Leaders.Church Blog
- Church University
- Take the Free 5 Day Leadership Challenge for Pastors
- Get Free Access to the 4 Secrets Masterclass