Creating change in a local church is really hard work. Here are two articles describing why it is so tough.
4/21 – Charles Stone at Pastors Today – 8 Reasons Church Change Is so Difficult – Article describes a few of the reasons change is so tough. Just a few highlights:
2.People usually fill in knowledge gaps with fear instead of faith.
5.The brain can only handle so much change at once.
7.Resistance to change often increases the closer you get to the change.
On the 5th comment, about only being able to absorb so much change at a time, keep in mind that everyone is facing overwhelming change in all areas of life. Another round of change in worship, when that is one of the few stable areas of life, just might be too much for some people to bear.
Check out the article for the full list and comments on each factor. If you want to move your congregation forward, you need to keep those natural responses in mind.
A critical question comes to mind: why bother trying to create change? The goal is to increase kingdom impact and share the wonder news of salvation with those who don’t know what you are talking about. Doing so normally requires doing things better and different.
4/27 – Thom Rainer – Seven Reasons Some Church Members Don’t Want Their Churches to Grow – Just a few of the reasons that people in the pews and in power may resist the changes needed to grow the church, which is the natural result of sharing the gospel:
Loss of familiarity.
Loss of memories.
Loss of comfort.
Loss of perceived intimacy.
Loss of worship style.
We can’t just blow off those worries and fears. They are very real. They can be quite painful.
If leaders in a church don’t take those factors (and the rest of the list) into consideration, the church will have severe resistance to growth initiatives and experience much pain in the process.
I can speak from personal experience of the turmoil and pain caused by people who refuse to give up their power or that small church feel.
Expect lots of unpleasantness from folks who insist on keeping their power and doing things the way they want, even if it gets in the way of sharing the gospel.