Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a senior pastor who is constantly bringing change to the church. One week it is a new way to do small groups, and he did this by blowing up our existing Sunday adult fellowships. A week or two later, he is toying with the structure of the worship service. What should I do?

DRF—The issue you raise is one of the “Rate of Change.” Every church has a different coefficient of change, that is the ability to accept and actively adopt new programs and methods. Just as we exegete the Scriptures, so we should exegete the culture of our churches.

As Sam Chand said at an XP-Seminar, “you don’t always recognize culture into you have stepped in it.” Then the soles of your shoes have all the more of the cow pasture on them. Check out Sam’s book, “Culture Catalyst: Seven Strategies To Bring Positive Change To Your Organization” 

Bringing this up to the Senior Pastor may be delicate. Perhaps you can show to him some of the culture pain that is happening. Work on the timing of cultural changes … most congregations will change, given the right perspective and their needed amount of “absorption time.” I’ve asked Sam to respond …

Sam Chand’s Response: First of all please know that your Pastor is normal. The tendency of most Pastors can be to find places and spaces in the church to jump-start and relaunch. It’s tactical (focus on activity) but not strategic (focus on organization). So it becomes more of a trial and error and not impact and outcomes based. Your Pastor is a good Pastor who is not complacent, not afraid of shaking things up and wants the church to grow.

He can accomplish much more however if he takes into account the church’s pain threshold for making changes. In my book “Leadership Pain” I break it down simply as:

Growth = Change

Change = Loss

Loss = Pain

Therefore Growth = Pain

Establishing a culture in which the “why” behind the “what” is not only understood but can be easily articulated is crucial. In my book “Culture Catalyst” I break down the word CULTURE to make it tangible as:

C = Control

U = Understanding

L = Leadership

T = Trust

U = Unafraid

R = Responsive

E = Execution

You and your church can get a free diagnosis and prescription at You’ll get 8 pages free, giving you the empirical data explanation and assistance for each item. Your Pastor can move from tactical to strategic and then he can lead with focus on sustainability (making changes last) and scalability (using changes to grow).

I know you love, support and pray for your Pastor…keep doing it. Thanks for this opportunity to respond.