I met with a wonderful group of leaders recently. They are in process. They have been looking at their strengths and weaknesses. They are asking some hard questions. They are also writing, dreaming, re-adjusting. They are in transition. In our meeting I mentioned I saw a picture of a person who had pulled a bow string back in preparation ready to let an arrow fly.
Another picture: They were like a wave pulling away from shore, building up, gathering energy, getting ready to move forward and release the energy back upon the shore.
The action of pulling back, zooming out, is a valuable season. They had been meeting together and had written four great thoughts concerning their transition into their new future and destiny.
Transition and change tips:
Focusing upon who you are becoming... leads people.
Focusing and reacting to who you are not... drives people.
Focusing on who you are, who you are created to be is so important. Hitting to your strength is often how personal and corporate growth is achieved. Every person, every group is different. We are all unique and gifted. We have strengths and weaknesses. We all have talents and abilities that we must steward.
We all have a unique identity as sons and daughters. Our identity is discovered, developed and deepened in our secret place. We are who our Father tells us we are. We reflect who were are by our words, actions, and attitudes. We are in process.
Change, transition is important. However, strong change and courage to change should flow out of the foundational principle of knowing who you are, whose you are, and who you are called to be. This is true as an individual and as a church.
This thought, "Being secure in who you are and whose you are", is so important, especially during the process of change, or transition within the context of community.
Questions to ponder and discuss:
Who are we?
What is our strength?
What are we attempting to accomplish?
Is where we are going, and who we are becoming flow out of who we are?
What is our history, from the perspective of what have we accomplished positively?
What was our initial vision for our city? Is it still relevant?
How does our community define us?
Are we still who our community defines us to be? If so, why so? If not, why not?
As leaders have we successfully shifted the language of vision and mission from I, my... to we together? (If not and you are still using... when I, I want you to, this is my, the caution light is flashing.)
Why are we changing?
Why are we shifting?
How are we going to begin change, shift?
What's the process?
If these questions are not clearly answered and processed over time, (over time is the central thought) on different levels (staff, key leaders, key people and your community of faith) certain crisis is inevitable. What you sow is what you reap?
This is who we are. This is why we are changing. This is what we are changing. This is how we are going to enter into change. This is when we are beginning to change. These thoughts help the process. Especially answering the big Why? question.
Does change flow from our confidence of being who we are?
Do our people know their focused purpose?
Are people secure in their personal identity as an individual, and as a group together?
If you are the main leader do people trust you?
If some of the above questions are not answered the foundation for change is shaky at best, and the road to change will be a difficult one.
I met a pastor from Ireland. People told me he made a major decision when he first arrived. He wanted to focus the first five years on becoming who they were and called to be, then and only then launch new initiatives. He knew the value and the process of change and the importance having something authentic to give away. Now years later they are blessing their city and their world in a big way. They are currently revisiting identity, being brave and having courage.
One great leader said something I'll never forget, "Never, ever, bring people out of a current vision and mission, unless you have a clear process to nurture people into a new season of vision, mission and change."
Write the vision, make it plain so that the reader may read, embrace the vision, and run with it. Habakkuk 2:2 My paraphrase
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish NASB.
Where there is no clear, prophetic vision, people run in circles, become discouraged, lose heart and become aimless. My paraphrase.
Making the vision plain is part of the process. Before the change is launched, wise leaders make a plan, and make a plan to make it plain.
Some people are fast processors... they hear, understand and are ready to shift.
Some people are visual learners... they need to see the big picture, or paint the picture in their imagination of what the change looks like and why.
Other people are internal processors... they need time hear, to think, reflect, ponder and understand.
Some people are verbal processors... they need time to talk and be listened to.
The process takes time. Our decisions to change, and more importantly, how we enact change determine our destiny.
Thoughts in the night are wonderful to ponder. Hopefully you pay attention to your thoughts in the night. They may be important sign posts for your life.