Leading Change Part 6

Change Advances At The Speed of Trust

By nature, I’m impatient. Anyone who knows me, understands I like things done yesterday. When leading change, you may feel like you are going at the speed of the slowest person in your community. But maybe that’s more about you. Here’s how your character, and consistency will feed your credibility and help you advance your change.

Establish trust.  
Change advances at the speed of trust. Leadership credibility is the most important factor in leading change. People trust a trustworthy leader. The number one factor that keeps people in a church community is the trustworthiness of the lead pastor. Your first role as a leader is to build trust. You can’t start soon enough.

If you are too new to the scene to have developed trust or credibility, you need to have the most trusted leader lead with you. Major change has the greatest probability of success when the leader has established credibility.

Be consistent. 
You will keep people’s trust through the change if it is easier to figure out where you are as a leader, what you are thinking, and why you are making the decisions you make. And, pay attention to the word “why” — it’s critically important. If they see a consistency in you over time, the more they will understand the “why,” and the more accepting they will be of change.

Attack problems not people.
People are not the problem. You are doing the best you can as a leader. People are doing the best they can – even when they oppose the change. Their best, may not help the cause, but knowing they are doing their best will help guard you against responding judgementally. Build boundaries to keep their toxicity out of your spirit. Lead well by praying for them and loving them.

Introduce the idea of change early. 
People need time to warm up to the change that is coming. The less you surprise people, the greater your chance for success. Change always comes with an emotion attached and giving ample notice allows people a chance to acclimate their emotions. One year before Central Tabernacle embarked on relocation, I preached a message series called “A Change Will Do You Good.” Early in the relocation process a congregant told me, “You warned us change was coming.”

Go back through the other articles in this series and work through them again.  Ask yourself, “What needs to change?  How does this change need to happen?  What is my next step in making this change?”