Working with scores of churches across the country in dozens of denominations, I’ve had the opportunity to watch thousands of Christians respond to change. As I have, I’ve made a rather startling observation. I’ve been testing it for more than a decade. See what you think.

My thesis is this: People have trained themselves, over their lifetime, as to how they respond to change. Pastor, your job is to accurately assess where each of your key people are and lead them through change based on their individual change posture. In any community, I suggest you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways.

There are some in your congregation who have trained themselves to take risks, to try new, untested possibilities, to leap into the unknown just to see if something better can result. Their focus is almost exclusively on the merits of the change. Once they are convinced that the change is preferable to the status quo they will embrace the change you propose.

These people are “pioneers.”

They are God’s gift to you!

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at


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