Communicating in Times of Change
Leading and implementing change requires communication. As a leader, your job is to communicate clearly and to help the congregation understand where the church is going (vision) and why (mission). Especially in times of change, it's crucial to identify core influential leaders and communicate changes to them in advance.
Consider the following breakdown of groups within your congregation outlined in the video above, and give special attention to how you might prioritize communication of mission-critical changes to each of these groups.
- Consumer– these relationships are necessary, but diminish your strength (typically makes up two-thirds of the congregation)
In casual relationships the conversation always focuses on the weaker person to keep the weaker person engaged. Every time you see them at church, the questions sound like this: “How is your day going?” “Hey, how was the ballgame?” “How’s your world?” “How’s your job?” “How’s your marriage?” It’s always about them. You’re often afraid that if you ask the wrong question, the individual will get offended. That’s a casual relationship.
- Ministry– these relationships help you get things done, but don’t nourish you (typically makes up one-fourth of the congregation)
The conversation in a ministry-level relationship focuses on the church. If a person is working with the youth, you’re always talking about the youth department, activities for the youth, or about young people. These questions sound like this: “How’s Billy doing?” “How’s the youth group going?” “How was Wednesday night?” You talk about the works of the ministry as it pertains to the local church. You only talk about church, nothing about the kingdom. It’s always about the church and how we function and work as a church.
- Missional– these relationships feed your soul (typically makes up less than 10% of the congregation)
A missional relationship is one which goes beyond the arena of the local church and expands to a relationship at a kingdom of God level. Missional relationships talk about passion for ministry, personal growth—a real “iron sharpening iron” relationship. In these relationships, we talk about kingdom issues as well as church issues. We look at how our church works within the kingdom.