What Color Should The New Curtain Be? – By Rev. Alan Mead Morning Solitude – By Rev. Alan Mead

Learning to Lead Change – By Rev. Alan Mead

Would it make much difference to a congregation if a curtain on a stage is blue or maroon? Probably not; but change in color was one more sign that the congregation was in the midst of larger changes, of new members becoming involved and bringing new ideas and expectations and, yes, probably forming new traditions too.

Leading a congregation through change is an important part of being a minister. It is often not taught at seminary. It is learned, sometimes, by listening to the people around us and by reflecting on our experience, and by reading an emerging literature, especially in the corporate world, about how to manage change for growth and health and even for survival.

In our situation I think we all learned from each other. Since then, I have been motivated to read more about how to lead change and how to live with change, which is another but related reality of life, personally and within communities of faith. One thing that I have always tried to do since is to have key leadership bodies spend their time and energy on the larger, more important issues such as mission rather than having twelve high powered individuals spend valuable meeting time deciding what color to choose for a fabric. Choosing to renovate an area and deciding how to fund a renovation is appropriate for a board; getting into color choice may work better being managed by a smaller group of knowledgable people assigned by the board.

Helping people to understand and embrace something larger, something calling for our commitment and sacrifice, something that engages our minds, imaginations and treasure, is what I choose to be about in ministry. It sure beats trying to mend breaches that occur after factions disagree over non essential choices. Better to lead change directly rather than react to predictable results of inertia.

There are several books by John Kotter that would be a good place to begin if you desire to learn more about leading change today.

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