In 1927, Charlie Chaplin was the biggest film star in the world. That same year, his world was shaken to its foundations. 1927 was the year the first motion picture with sound was released. Chaplin was not impressed. In 1931 he said this in an interview: “I give the talkies six more months”.
He was a little off in his prediction.
In 1977, Ken Olson, the cofounder and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation famously declared that “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home”. Around the same time, Bill Gates was popularizing the notion of having a PC in every home by the year 2000.
Guess whose vision proved to be more accurate?
Imagine being the CEO of Blockbuster Video in 1997. At the height of its prowess, Blockbuster was considering major mergers that would take it into all realms of content – visions akin to those of Amazon today. By 2013, caught off guard by streaming video and ever-present personal devices broadcasting everything, Blockbuster was filing for bankruptcy.
Our point is this: Our habits of thought can either lead us to get buried in the past or drive us to reinvent ourselves.
If we want to remain relevant, reinvention is essential.
There is an inherent tension here for church leaders. We believe we have a timeless message. Some of us resist the impulse to “make” the message of Christ relevant, believing that it is relevant regardless of what we say or do. In addition, members of our congregations, looking for security and safety in a world changing at a dizzying pace often look to us for stability and predictability.
Nevertheless, we know our methods and perspectives must change. The question for us is: Is change a habit, or something we are forced to do?
Questions for your leadership team:
-When was the last time we initiated a change effort designed to help us better reach and serve our community?
-On a scale of 1-5, how open are we as leaders to change?
-If we changed something major around here (you fill in the blank) who would stand to lose?
-If we knew there were no price to pay in terms of resistance, blowback, controversy or lost opportunity or revenue, what would we choose to change right away?
The nature of the Gospel and of the church is that it must adapt a timeless message to a world that never stops changing. This takes both integrity and courage. Are you ready to make a habit of change while preserving that which must remain?
Our Transforming Church Insight (TCI) begins with the premise that every church can be a great church if it is committed to realizing its God-given potential. The TCI is a church-wide online survey which will reveal your congregation’s strengths, challenges and opportunities and provide a tested field guide for change which results in growth and health while preserving the things you value most as part of your culture.
The Transforming Church Insight is an integral part of our Discovery process. Are you ready to make a habit of change? Find out more, and reach out to us by clicking here.