“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” The playwright George Bernard Shaw got that one right. A leader must be ready to change if he is to lead his people to change.
One critical ingredient to helping people see the necessity of change is constant communication. Leaders often underestimate the value of communicating the need for change.
It is easy to think that once we have said it, the people have internalized it. Repetition is the key. In the Bible, recurrence is also frequent. Peter said, “I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them” (2 Peter 1:12). Of course, we should be creative in ways we communicate, or else we may bore our audience to death.
Next, leaders must ensure that their people are capacitated for the change that is about to happen. For example, if the change calls for greater personal evangelistic work in the church, then the members should be trained on how to conduct Bible studies. Along the same vein, Paul asked Timothy to train others: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Long-term change can be discouraging. Leaders must pursue short term wins to keep the momentum going. In the Bible, we see this in how the Lord Jesus trained His disciples. He exposed them to various ministries for three years, giving them small successes, as when they went on a short mission’s trip (see Luke 10:1-20).
In the future, we can expect even more changes as society rapidly transforms. Our churches are challenged to adjust to these changes without losing our core message and identity. We can be encouraged that the church of God has withstood social upheavals, wars, and persecution for millennia. After all, Christ promised to be with His people forever (see Matthew 28:20).