Selling big change is incredibly difficult. On the other hand, selling small change is almost effortless. It is hard to jump ten feet; it is easy to take ten steps. And, if you take a step and it ends up being the wrong step, you back up and step again in a different direction.
Let’s suppose you want to cancel your Sunday Night service and do small groups instead. Here is the wrong way to do it:
- Preach a series of sermons on how we need deeper intimacy in the church. (Create urgency.)
- Get a team of leaders together in a smoke-filled room to talk about this.
- Develop a vision for home groups.
- Communicate. Stand in the pulpit and say: “Hear ye! Hear ye! From now on and forever more we will no longer have a Sunday night service. It is now pronounced dead. The six of you that enjoy it; tough luck. Instead, we are going to do what Willow Creek and Saddleback do: we are going to do home groups. Snake handling will be optional.”
This fails so often and predictably it is shocking to see how often this approach is tried. Perhaps you want to move to a contemporary worship service. Same four steps are tried.
- Preach a number of sermons. Cast vision. Create urgency. Spit and stomp and yell a lot. Cry if you have to.
- Get a group to talk—perhaps the staff who is 20 years younger than the members of the church.
- Vision. You even reduce it to a catchy slogan: Rock the Flock! That ought to go over well.
- Make the grand pronouncement: “Hear ye! Hear ye! No more choir. No more organ. No more hymns. Loud, screeching electric guitar. We are going to Rock the Flock! It will be great!”
No matter how much enthusiasm you use to sell this, it will fail. No matter how much you pray about it, it will fail. No matter how right you are, it will fail.
Let me show you a more excellent way.