What makes you afraid? How about change?
Taking fresh steps in ministry and mission means change.
While people are not against change, what they do fear is loss. They are afraid they will lose something precious or important to take fresh steps into the congregation’s God-given, hope-filled future.
When people fear loss, leaders provide stability. Stability comes as the pastor makes clear what will not change. For instance:
- Our church will always preach from the Bible
- Our church will hold to the creeds and confessions
- Our church will have Jesus as our chief cornerstone
- Our church will preach the good news of Jesus Christ
- Our church will live out of a Reformed world and life view
The work of leaders is to bring clarity and to navigate what are the essentials and the non-essentials for communities of Jesus. This later work of leaders is some of the most demanding work. People and congregations are prone to confusing the non-essentials with the essentials. Wise leaders guide their community through a process that names and keeps the essentials and holds all other things loosely.
Alongside the types of Biblical essentials named above, leaders give stability through enduring core values. Putting it another way, pastors can say, “These things are true of us, and they will not change.”
As you think about taking fresh steps in ministry and mission
- What are the essentials that will not change?
- What are the non-essentials that people in your congregation confuse with being essential?
- What are the core values of your congregation?
- Are there any core values that will need to change so you can pursue fresh steps?