I have just released a new Bible study called The Case for Antioch, based on Jeff Iorg’s book by the same title. The big idea of this study is to challenge your people to be a church like the Antioch church.
Here is an excerpt:
A transformational church innovates to advance the gospel.
Openness to innovation, which often leads to significant change, is required to sustain a transformational church. That’s troubling news for some Christians who don’t like change and don’t want to hear any proposals about innovating new forms of ministry. Many well-meaning believers want their church to remain just as it is. A person usually joins a church for the church it is, not the church someone else envisions it becoming. When a church begins to change or even when pastoral leaders start talking about making significant changes, the comfort level among the membership usually declines. Consequently, the anxiety level for leaders often soars. Innovation and change can be unsettling for everyone. While a healthy sense of stability contributes to emotional equilibrium, both personally and corporately, rigid resistance to change is counterproductive to growth. Healthy organisms, including churches, are either growing and changing or dying.
Leaders are change agents. It’s in our DNA, a core part of our role and responsibility. We resist the status quo and welcome new initiatives. Learning to lead healthy change, not just change for change’s sake, is our challenge. Some leaders are poor change managers. They introduce unnecessary change using inappropriate methods for uncertain purposes. These changes are counterproductive to church health, often doing more harm than good. Without a doubt leaders need to develop and improve their change-management skill set.
Sometimes, however, the problem isn’t the leader. It’s the followers. Some Christians resist even simple changes, much less major innovations, adamantly rejecting all proposals for anything new. In those cases the problem isn’t lack of skill in presenting a change. It’s a much deeper spiritual problem. When it comes to experiencing change, both leaders and followers need to avoid the common mistakes that undermine this process. Learning to manage change effectively, to be transformed in healthy way, is foundational to building a healthy church.
Jeff Iorg, The Case for Antioch (Nashville: B&H, 2011).
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