This weekend I am leading a training experience for our church Council on the subject of “Leading a Congregation in Times of Change.” The very word “change” tends to make us nervous. Change means different than it is right now, and we like things as they are. It is a very human reaction.
Change is also something we yearn for. We want progress, improvement, new directions. Many of us still want to explore new places, new things to see, new experiences.
In other words, “change” can feel like a tug of war game or a roller coaster ride.
Greenbelt Community Church has been in a transitional time for some time. It remains in a time of transition while we move through this Interim time together. I hope it is a time when we can embrace change as a sign and symbol of growth as disciples of Jesus the Christ. I hope it is a time where we can imagine together new possibilities in ministry to our community and to one another.
Your Church Council will be learning some techniques and brushing up on some skills to help the process. For instance, how do we become more spontaneous in doing some things we would like to see done? The two Fire Pit Evenings and the Fourth of July picnic are examples of people wanting to be together and making it happen. That is a positive change. Another, more mundane activity, is how your Council is thinking about using more Volunteer Sign-Ups for things and fewer three-year commitments to be on a Board. It is a move toward change that warrants discussion.
Change is important in how we live our faith. Mother Teresa said: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” We as a faith community can cause some ripples that flow into the stream of justice. We can be part of the change we want to see happen in our world.
This transitional period allows us to focus on the change we need to be relevant to our community in 2022 and beyond. It allows us to identify the characteristics of leadership that we need. It allows us to define the principles that we do not want to change and why. It allows us to see one another as part of a growing, vibrant community of faith. We change in order to fulfill our full potential as Christ’s disciples. Fear not.