3 Keys to Build Sustainable Change.

We all have dreams about what our church or organization could be like. Some of us dream that we will have more excitement among our people or that we will be more active in our convictions, but it’s not always easy or possible to have others develop into those dreams. This is not because the people are so caught up with the way it was, or the way they think it should be. Perhaps one of the greatest reasons that it’s hard to bring change is because we don’t build the right infrastructure for change as leaders of change.

I often reflect on when I was young pastor in leadership. I had so many ideas and so many convictions, that I believed in my heart should be addressed within my context. Too often I would approach those concerns with an “Old Testament prophet” style of attitude, approaching without visible grace but just condemnation for the lack of change. I may have had great ideas, and great plans, but I approached them with a heart for what was wrong, not what was right.

Bringing sustainable change, change that truly changes things, requires more then the idea maker being right about what needs to change.

In my experience, I have found 3 vital components to sustainable change.

1. Love. But not some wishy washy love. Sustainable change needs you to love the people you work with or care for, over your idea itself. When leaders love the idea more then the people it is supposed to serve, it lowers the chance for effective sustainable change. I’m not saying the maker of some new electronic invention needs to love the people to sell the product, but when you as a leader look for the value in the people you work with or serve, they will be the ones to carry on your leadership and ideas to the next level.
2. Trust. How long does it take to build trust? Well it sure doesn’t come because you have a great idea. Great ideas can bring change, and quickly, but trust works on your behalf to provide a place for sustainable change to happen. When the people trust you, they want to help you bring change and in creating change, it’s the people that ultimately make it sustainable.
3. Vision. Not just a vision for the idea, but beyond your idea. When we have vision for the lives our people live beyond our great idea or innovation, people feel that they are the reason the idea is important, not you. Vision beyond your own goal as a leader brings sustainable change and aligns the change you want to bring with the other elements of peoples lives.

While there are many important things to consider when you want to bring sustainable change, these 3 things that you ca

n bring to the people you wish to impact are important. We all like to see new things work well, but we want to feel that those who bring change to our lives care about us, not just themselves. We must value the people we serve to bring sustainable change.

Lent came fast ;)

external_image
What’s your Lent plan?

Today is Ash Wednesday. It represents the start of 40 days of fasting. It’s the 40 days before Easter. In the Christian world, it attempts to mirror the 40 days that Jesus fasted in the desert. It can be a Christians expression of trying to be like Jesus in preparation for a day that Christians celebrate regarding Him.

So what is fasting? Why do it? Is there some benefit to it? Is it a spiritual thing or physical thing? Does the Bible talk about it? Do people who believe in God need to do it?

First, fasting is a practice in the Bible. But it does not say that we need to do it before Easter. This is a tradition. A good one. But let’s be clear, if you don’t do it, your are not going against the Bible.

Secondly, fasting is not about denial as many practice it. It’s about refocusing. It’s about putting first what is first. It’s not a punishment, it’s a strategic move for people to make sure that things we believe take a lot of focus in our life stay second to the things that are, or should be, first. In this case, it’s about Jesus.

Thirdly, fasting isn’t about absolute distance from the thing that is on your target fasting list. For thousands of years, many who practice fasting simply stayed away from food for one meal, not the whole day. It was a symbol of putting first things first. So if you chose to fast, it’s not a hard and “fast” rule ;). Simply remember that it’s about putting the right things first and putting the other things that we some times rely on too much, out of the drivers seat.

So this year, are you going to observe Lent? What are your experiences with it? And hopefully if you give up coffee, it will go by fast 😉

My Super Bowl Predictions

Sunday February 7, 2016 marks Super Bowl 50. The game will be broadcast globally. Panthers agains Broncos. Who will win? Will the half-time show be amazing? Will there be any brilliant new commercials? So many questions. But here are my top 5 predictions.

My top 5 predictions for Super Bowl 50

1. Someone will win. 100% Guarantee.
Now I’m not claiming to be a prophet, but as I look deep into my heart and focus on the future, I believe that someone will win. Don’t get mad!!! I know this is crazy. But I promise you, someone will win.

2. Too many chips will be eaten
Alright. Let’s be clear. Chips are just the top of the iceberg. Super Bowl is a traditional event for us to legitimize gluttony. I’m not saying that it’s right, but chips, dip, wings and many other wonderful delicacies will be devoured.

3. Regret from decisions
Now this covers a wide variety of decisions. As above, I believe the statement “Oh man, I ate too much :(“ will be widely used. But also, “I shouldn’t of bet on them”, or “I should of bet more”. Either way, regret will be the crown many will wear Sunday night.

4. Marriages stressed
Wow. I don’t know what to say about this. All I will say is, wives please be patient and husbands, don’t blow a relationship over a game.

5. Church will be under-attended.
Finally, I predict that churches all over North America and beyond will be under-attended due to the game. I’m not saying how I feel about that, but I can tell you this much… As a pastor, I don’t usually plan a big church event on Super Bowl Sunday.

 

If you watch it or not, I hope that you will enjoy the day. Remember it’s a game. I know those are fighting words to some, but I ask for a your grace with me. Perhaps we have made sports a religion. Let’s just make sure it’s not man that we worship.