Change does not start with change. It doesn’t start with vision-casting. These will come later. It starts with urgency. It starts by starting the house on fire. Or, by persuading the church that the house is on fire. People are naturally resistant to change. If they don’t see a compelling reason to change they won’t do so. A compelling sense of urgency must come first. Kotter has received a good deal of feedback criticizing him for the vision not coming first. I think he is right. Urgency must come first. Without urgency the status quo will win out.
The best way to create urgency is a serious call to prayer. Prayer is not about begging God to do what He really doesn’t want to do—bring revival. It is about God changing our hearts in prayer so that we can be trusted with an outpouring of His power.
Urgency is also created through soul-stirring preaching. Solidly biblical preaching about the mission of the church, combined with hard data on the state of the church, will help create a sense of urgency.