Change is an agent of growth.
If you want to grow almost anything – you will have to change!
I have always held to the axiom, “be on the front end of change, so that you are able to lead change and not have change lead you”. And I have always enjoyed change and leading change. But my current season of change has possibly been one of the most difficult periods of my life. Let me explain.
About 6 years ago I wrote a “theology” on co-leadership. The result was that today Grace Family Church is co-led. There are many advantages of having two co-senior pastors, one of the best is, succession.
Change is inevitable
Then, in early 2018 a few things came into play. Firstly, I was now in my 60’s and common sense would determine that I could not lead the church indefinitely? Added to that, I knew that after leading churches for 36 years, I didn’t have the same energy as I had before. I knew the best thing for me, and our church was to ensure that the next generation has the best possible start to take the church into the future.
So, in early 2018 our leadership team plotted the transition of leadership. We wanted to ensure the smoothest transition that would result in sustained momentum and growth. And now, over 20 months later, it’s all but done. Wayne and Tom are now the co-senior pastors of our church. I am still the co-senior pastor until the 25 August, but in reality, Wayne and Tom are co-leading the church. The potential for negative fallout during a change of this magnitude seems acceptable or even minimal. I think most would agree; we have done well!
I still have a significant part to play in our church. My role is being titled, “Founding Pastor”. I feel privileged and honoured that the team and the church foresee my input as valuable in the years to come. So, I am not retiring or even semi-retiring, but my role is changing.
A difficult season
Having said all this, done all this – this has possibly been the most difficult season of my life. As much as I have been an advocate of change, I find myself at war – metaphorically speaking. In a way, the clarity and the way in which we have gone through this change has belied the impact it has had on me.
Other than the change of role, there are many other changes that Christine and I are facing. We are selling our family home (we have lived here for 20 years or so). We have both experienced physical setbacks, and other difficulties which have contributed to an emotional demand that sometimes feels at breaking point. As you know, it’s not one thing that distresses one, it’s the accumulation of both significant and less significant issues that lead to distress.
Humbling and hard
The result is humbling. I have lived change, spoken about it, taught it and helped others through change. And now, change is more than a plan to be implemented, a formation of a new vision and all the other learnings we know about change – it’s a reality.
Change is hard. But, not changing is even harder. So, we do what we know
Put our trust in God.
PS Here is a link to the live Vlog I did on Change.
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