The Case for Change

leadership, change, problem, solutions, leaders, organization, church

One thing leaders everywhere know is that the world is changing, and it’s changing at a rate faster than ever. We know our organizations need to adapt in order to be helpful, relevant, and viable. Leaders work hard to imagine changes that will help their church or organization to engage people in new and helpful ways and to implement those changes.

However, if you are a leader, you have probably been frustrated by investing yourself (and the energy of other leaders) in changes only to have your plans and efforts dissolve into what seems to be the indifference of the organization.

This often occurs because people do not “buy into” the problem leaders are trying to address with the change. Usually it’s not that people don’t care or are uninterested. It’s more often that they don’t appreciate why change needs to occur. The case for change simply hasn’t been made effectively, if at all.

We also know that significant change is hard. For people in your organization to implement and internalize the change, they need to believe the change is necessary. They need to believe that change might solve a stressful problem that they have all been experiencing. They need to believe that change might bring about a healthier and more sustainable organization that grows in its effectiveness and impact.

This means leaders must, in the words of William and Susan Bridges, “sell the problem.” Leaders need to systematically make the case for change so that others are as compelled as you are to make a significant change. If leaders are going to ask people to change their lives, to let go of things that have provided for them peace and/or power, to alter how they understand their own purpose and/or role in the organization’s mission, they need to understand that the change will lead to a better place.

Instead of jumping right into change implementation and management, leaders need to be patient. Before offering solutions, intentionally facilitate public conversation focused on the problem. You need to be able to make a compelling and authentic case for change and then invest the time needed to share it with others. Once people can own the urgency for change, they will be far more likely to work with you in growing the impact of your work and ministry.

Consultant Jim Weckwerth |

* Bridges, W. & Bridges, S. (2016). Managing transitions: Making the most of change. Boston MA: DaCapo.

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