Responses to Change: Mid Adopters

Using the biblical account of the people of Israel’s exodus from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land as our guiding analogy, we are considering the pace of the Israelites’ journey alongside our own congregations’ journeys toward God’s intended destination for us. 

First, we looked at the Early Adopters—those at the front of the pack who eagerly embraced change. For the purposes of our analogy, we postulated that the Early Adopters were within earshot of Moses, their God-ordained leader. These travelers received communication directly and saw regular evidence of God’s providence firsthand.

With this rough sketch in mind, perhaps you could identify the Early Adopters in your congregation.

Now imagine those who might be a few days behind Moses or somewhere near the middle of the pack. What’s the journey like back there? Well, you overhear the enthusiasm of the group up front, but you probably don’t see Moses as much. You get most of your info second-hand. 

And when do you move forward? Only when those ahead of you have started moving, right? These people are called Mid-Adopters, and they are the largest group in the journey—usually around 60% of those we lead. They don’t respond immediately to change opportunities, but usually need to see the changes succeed before getting fully on board. 

Mid-Adopters do not despise change, but they can be wary of moving too quickly.They might also have more invested in the status quo or have seen previous changes that failed, making them more cautious. 

Frankly, most people dislike change that is made forthem, so a less than immediate response isn’t surprising. But if the pastor views these slower movers as resistors, he or she is set up for conflict.

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