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.