When I was in graduate school I had the opportunity to sit at the feet of some spiritual giants. I took courses on church growth with Dr. Steven Guy and the late brother Clayton Pepper. I especially enjoyed attending over half a dozen seminars with Ray Fulenwider. In one of those seminars he laid out a blueprint for successful church work and necessary change to bring growth. They are as follows:
Change Comes When There Is A Cause For Unhappiness - We SHOULD NOT change things for sake of change! However, change can be good. Many people are unhappy with changes, but it needs to be done. Getting married is a good change. Starting a diet is a good change. Getting more exercise is a good change. Dedicating more time to prayer and service is a good change. However, there has to be a cause for unhappiness first - then change will come.
Change Comes When There Is A Desire For Hard Work - Sometimes we give up to soon. We need to give God time to work. The church is HIS body. The money collected is HIS money. The building and the church vans belong to HIM. We have to choose to get on board with HIS vision.
Change Comes When There Is A New Vision - Each new year we need to begin with a new vision. We need a year of prayer, a year for the Word, a year for the family, etc. These things are good partners for change.
Change Comes When There Is New Plans - New plans need to be given with a good chance for success. Don't listen to the critics, the cynics, and defeatists. The team needs to put together plans and MOVE FORWARD. People need to see that the church has good chance for success with a new vision and new plans.
Change Comes When There Is Good Communication - We need more discussion on "What are we doing?" and "Why are we doing it?" Prayer and dialogue will break down barriers. Attitudes will change and people will be ready for change. We need family meetings to talk about goals and missions. Many times we will realize that we have the same goals just different methods. We need to promote open and honest dialogue.
Change Comes When Everyone Prays - Just pray for God’s will to be done, together. This will not happen overnight, but it WILL happen. If God is in control there will be times for destroying buildings, moving, and purchasing new property. We need to remind people it's time to move forward! It's time to move on for God’s glory! And, prayer is one way to get there!
What great advice! These notes were taken from a two day seminar in 2004. Those words are just as true today as they were on that weekend several years ago. I hope you will keep praying for God's will to be done in your life!
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds