I’ve suggested that people have trained themselves, over their lifetimes, as to how they respond to change. Pastor, your job is to assess individual change posture of each of your key people are and lead them accordingly. In any community, you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways.

We’ve looked at “pioneers” and “belongers.” Now, we’re examining the behavior and motivations of those I call “resisters.”

Resisters and pioneers interpret life in mutually exclusive ways. When a pioneer is confronted with an opportunity, as soon as she sees the possibility of improvement, her default is: “Why not?” The resister will intuit the possibility of failure or loss and think: “Why take an imprudent risk?” The belonger will be hesitant, moving only when the group concludes it will be safe.

The culture that’s been established in your congregation will determine how predominant each group is. Sadly, churches are one of the few places in American society where resisters often congregate en masse. I suppose government is the other.

Contrary to almost everything you’ve ever read about leadership, I want to assert, that a great leader is not one who somehow inspires belongers to become pioneers, or resisters to transform into belongers.


A great leader is one who leads her or his people appropriately.

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


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