Recently, I began evaluating and observing the ministry at Kirkland Church of the Nazarene. As I took notes and begin to formulate ideas to build on the already good ministry; I began to think…how do you institute change (or in this case improvements)?
Here is my take:
- Observe and take notes- it is critical that you get the whole picture. Observe over time, quick observations can lead to misunderstanding or poor observance. Finally, take notes…not memory notes. Many times we forget what we observe, notes will help our memory.
- Find out why- Asking questions is a part of observing but, it is critical in learning where and how to go with change. There are three reasons why things are the way they are: 1) “this is who we are” (cultural), 2) “the last person did it that way” (historic) or 3) “we always do it like that” (they don’t have a clue). Find why things are the way they are, this will help you discover where to go to.
- Take a temperature reading- Listen to people, talk with people that will be a part of the change. Three reasons- first, people want to be heard not ignored; second, people may actually be in-line with your ideas or have better ones (in which case you have a cheerleader or potential leader); and third, the battle that you may be up against.
- Get the team on board- Talk to the rest of the ministry staff (or in some cases, the church staff). Give them the knowledge on how to answer questions from others and how to help they can lead through the changes.
- Move forward- Pray. Discuss (with the right people). Make a plan (complete with milestones and goals). Begin the changes (be flexible for the changes you may have to do during the process ). It is a lot, I am still processing it. I will blog about this subject for awhile- so much so, that I am making “change” a category of its own..