How would you finish the sentence, “A growing church is…”?
Anyone who has been at Lancaster Baptist longer than six months could answer, “…always in transition.”
A growing church is always in transition.A growing church is always in transition. Click To Tweet
From classroom locations to facility renovations, to ministry responsibilities, to schedule changes, to a particular church ministry being ended and another begun, to our preferred seat in the auditorium, to a staff member being asked to shift to a different focus of ministry in the church…we’ve learned that growth means change and requires flexibility. And, when it comes to the church, growth is always more important than comfort.When it comes to the church, growth is always more important than comfort. Click To Tweet
But knowing transitions happen is different than actually making the adjustments required to make those transitions successful.
What goes into an effective transition? Here are four elements.
- Death to self—As long as church is about me and my needs being met, transition will be uncomfortable and frustrating. But when church is about Christ—exalting Him and making Him known—transition becomes an opportunity to sacrifice for the greater good.
- Desire for the team—By it’s very existence, church is not a solo mission. It is a “called out assembly.” And teams, groups, and assemblies function best when everyone in the group cares about the group as a whole. In this, the church is especially unique because it is a body (Romans 12:4–5). When members of a church or groups within a church (staff, ministry teams, preschool parents, etc.) only care about their needs or meeting the needs of their group, they will be resistant to the changes they are called on to make that would benefit the church as a whole. But church members who see themselves as part of a larger body and care about the growth of the church will find it easier to make the transitions they are called upon to make for growth.
- Supporting the leader—Everybody can’t be the leader. And while it is easier to make adjustments when you have a full perspective of how each piece of change contributes toward a particular outcome, that perspective is not always possible for a leader to share. Assuming there is no moral or ethical violation, the best way a team member can help facilitate growth is by trusting a leader and being willing to adjust when asked.
- Flexibility—Perhaps you’ve heard the statement, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Having a desire for growth should include an anticipation of seasons of transition. And being flexible with those transitions makes the process smoother and increases the potential for success.
Growth will always eventually require transition.
And those who die to self, care for the success of the team, follow well, and are willing to be flexible are the ones who will find the greatest joy in the process.