I’ve suggested that people have trained themselves, over their lifetimes, as to how they respond to change. As a pastor, your job is to assess where each of your key people are and lead them through change based on their individual change posture. In any community, you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways. We looked at “pioneers.” Now, “belongers.”

A belonger is willing to change when two conditions are met. Belongers will embrace change when they’re convinced that it is safe and successful to do so—and not before. And, herein is the rub. Pastors keep wanting their belongers to be on the leading edge of change. The trouble is, they never have, and they never will!

No change at first is guaranteed to succeed, nor is it absolutely certain that people won’t get hurt in one way or another if they embrace a proposed change.

Pastors all over the land exhaust themselves trying to inspire, encourage, cajole, and manipulate the great many belongers who are faithfully laboring inside their churches in the hope that they will embrace change along with the pioneers.

They don’t.

They won’t.

It’s not in their nature or their training to put themselves at risk like that.

You will never find a belonger on the leading-edge of change!

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/


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