The Danger of Changes

change-o-holicWhether it’s a business, a school, or a youth ministry or even a blog there is both fun and danger in change. Some would say that half of the fun of change is the danger.

Good Catalyst
Almost all of the change I deal with is neccesitated by the existing way not meeting expectations and/or goals. Somewhere in a meeting the team will decide that a radical change is needed because the existing “thing” just isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s always a pure thought. It’s always a change for the better. And it’s always a change with the best of intentions.

The Dark Side of Change

There are some people lost in every change. For some recipients of the change, your customers or students or youth group kids or blog readers, the change becomes an opportunity to check out.

In Romeo, a format change to the youth group meant that several students never came back. It wasn’t a judgment of the quality of the program… in the end, our changes just gave them an excuse to not come back.

At adammclane.com I’ve never recovered all of the RSS subscribers I had when I was on Typepad. I went from 100+ to about 30 and have never gotten back to 100 RSS subscribers.

Just today a blogger I follow announced he was moving from Blogger to WordPress and I decided this was a good time to stop following him. It’s not that I don’t care for him, it’s simply that I don’t care enough about his blog to both unsubscribe to his content and then go to his new site and re-subscribe.

On and on this principle continues. A change is made and we accept a certain fallout percentage.

So here’s the big question: Are those changes worth it?

In hind site I would have rather kept those 70 subscribers to my blog and those 3-4 families in the youth group than embrace what was changed. Sure, in the process of changing I’ve gained new subscribers and now youth group has several fresh faces… but I’m left wondering if we could have had both if the old way was tweaked and not overhauled.

No matter what you lead or have the power to change you have to weigh is the change I’m making for the potential of growing exponentially worth the loss of some people who won’t make the transition?

I can think of many times when the answer to that is a resounding YES. But I can think of a couple where the answer is NO.

So, fellow change-o-holics: Is change worth it or are there times the biggest risk we can take is to stay the same?

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

5 comments

  1. Personally, I love change. Does it cause a bit of “fall-out”?- yes. Is it worth it? I would say it depends on the reason for the change. If change is made just to change- no. If change comes about with prayer and a strong mission behind it then I say its worth it. Our church just went through a year of “waiting on God”. People left and visitors are confused as to why we have no bible studies or extra programs, but I know that the majority of the congregation believed in the break and have been eagerly waiting for the next step. Overall, it has been a very positive and unifying move.

  2. Kim, I totally hear you. At the same time I’m wrestling with the de-valuing of those left behind or chose to walk away when the changes are made. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong and I’m not second-guessing that changes I oversee are good/bad… because I stand behind them. I’m just weighing if a broken relationship is worth the gained new relationships. Know what I mean?

  3. Yes, I understand your compassion on those lost, but I’m not sure we can ever bring along everyone. Think about the churches who began to preach against slavery. I’m sure when that began, there were many feathers ruffled and people lost to the church.

  4. BTW, I realize that my example is not completely relevant to the topic, I just meant to illustrate that change can bring about the greater mission of Christ. We just have to pray that God continues to follow after those that leave.

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