Do you like change? Most people don’t. The truth is, though, changing is part of life. Sometimes change is exciting – getting married, having children, or moving to a new place. Many times change is difficult – losing a loved one or getting laid off from work.
When it comes to congregations within the Church, change can become downright nasty. I’m sure you’ve seen it happen. Someone moves something in the kitchen or they put a sign up somewhere it doesn’t belong and someone says the inevitable, “We can’t do that! We’ve never done it that way before!” Then all hell breaks loose.
My mentor, Kary Oberbrunner, recently published a book called Day Job to Dream Job. In it, he talks about the importance of the stories we tell ourselves and the power they have to impact our attitude and behavior. In the scenario I mentioned above, the story the congregation believed was that everything had to stay exactly the same and there was only one right way for things to be done. It had what Kary calls incorrect vision in which “You see what can’t be. You see yourself negatively with endless self-limiting beliefs.” Incorrect vision affects both individuals and congregations. It keeps us from becoming who and what God created us to be. It keeps us from reaching out to those who desperately need to know the love of Christ because we are focused on our own preferences.
Instead, we need to have what Kary calls correct vision in which “You see what could be. You see yourself positively with nearly unlimited potential.” We could choose to see the potential God sees in ourselves and our congregations. We have the potential to be the Church as God intended because it is God’s own self who empowers us! We could be putting our preferences aside and focusing on the mission Jesus gave us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). We could tell ourselves a new story. We could choose to believe that it is ok to try things we’ve never done before. After all, how far would the Church have gotten in the first place if no one did anything they’d never done before? God had never come to earth in a human body before. Think about that. If God can do a new thing, why can’t we?
If you’re interested in checking out Kary’s book, you can get it here: