Why are People in Your Church and Ministry Slow to Change?

Kara Powell

Why are people in your church or ministry slow to change?

Today we start a 3 day summit for our 2012 Sticky Faith Cohort in which we’ll address that very question (note:  if you’re interested in finding out more about how your church can be part of our 2013 Sticky Faith Cohort, click here). 

During the next 48 hours, the more than 100 leaders from almost churches around the country that will be gathered here in Pasadena will get to spend a great amount of time with our friend and Fuller colleague, Dr. Scott Cormode.  Scott’s theory is that “People don’t resist change, they resist loss.”  There’s always loss (or perceived potential loss) involved in change.

As we were preparing for this summit, I read this blog post from last week in the Harvard Business Review.  This helpful list of “10 Reasons People Resist Change” closely parallels what we’ll be talking about these next 48 hours.

Leaders would be wise to ask themselves:

1.Which of these 10 reasons is/are most prominent in my current setting?

2.How is a fear of loss connected to my answer to #1 above?

3.What can I do to help people move past their fears of loss?

If you’re stuck on #3, the good news is that we’ve received a grant that’s allowing us to release an online, video-driven toolkit that explores that very question.  Our Making Changes Stick Toolkit is geared to walk you through the change process this fall, and in the months and years to come.

As we’re gathering with leaders this week who are wrestling with bringing change to their churches, we’d love to know which of these 10 reasons are causing the greatest resistance to change in your setting.

Published Oct 02, 2012
Kara Powell

Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women You Should Know", Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.

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