I have said many times that change is always hard and almost always worth it. Even the change we are excited about is hard. You purchase a new home and are so excited about moving in, but packing the boxes and moving the furniture is hard. You want to use a new curriculum at your church, but training and communicating that change will not be easy. Organizational change is hard because it almost always affects people. It is human nature to worry about change that is coming and how it will affect you.
I love what I call smart change… when you have a problem you are trying to solve or an idea that will change the way you work for the better. I love dreaming how to be better! I never want to stay put. I never want to be satisfied, and if that requires hard work and change, then I want to roll up my sleeves and get started. I volunteer for more work if it means trying something new and different.
In the upcoming weeks, we’ll walk through this three part series about change. We will look at how you know it time to change, why change is hard, and some practical steps to take during change.
How do you know it’s time to change?
People tell you it needs to change. I spend my summers going from camp to camp talking to children’s ministers, and we make changes from what they tell us. Simply put they know what they want better than I do so I just ask them. That will work in your ministry, also. Ask your parents what they like, what you could do better… Don’t be defensive just ask and listen.
“You have to manufacture energy for it” –Andy Stanley. Manufacturing energy is when you are pretending something is important when it isn’t. We offered a backpacking track at camp in the past, but we discovered that when it was time for the overnight trip, no one wanted to go. We dropped backpacking because we had to manufacture energy for it. What do you have to manufacture energy for, either for yourself or others?
Something is in decline. Too often we wait too long to realize when numbers are dropping. We are too slow to realize that people vote with their feet, so if fewer and fewer people are coming then it is time to change.
The culture has changed but your program hasn’t. There was a time when staff was the only thing that mattered at camp. If staff loved and invested in kids, then people loved camp. Today, kids are bombarded with visual images 24/7. From HD TV to iPads, they live in a visual world. We now spend much more time, energy, and money to produce visually stunning programs, videos, sets, and lights in order for kids and adults to connect visually with the spiritual content we are focusing on throughout the week. Culture has changed, and so has camp.
Watch for the second part of this three part post titled “Change is Hard.”