Transition and Change in the Church, Introduction

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Transition and Change in the Church


An important aspect of Christian ministry, especially when approached from the transformational and empowering perspectives, emphasizes the role of church leaders as agents of change. Also, most approaches to Church Leadership, Church Health and Renewal are essentially change methodologies.

In Christian ministry generally, but especially in church leadership, change is inescapable. There are the ongoing tune-ups to help the church do what it already does more effectively, such as reorganizing its small groups. There are also the adjustments made in response to shifts in the external environment such as starting an outreach to singles to coincide with the building of a new apartment complex adjacent to the building. There are the major strategic changes such as redefined mission and structures to better position the church for effectiveness in the new era. And then there are the complete recreations that result from a major unanticipated crisis such as the death or controversial departure of a minister. All of these are changes.

In these and other situations, the question is not whether to change, but which change one wants. For example, there is the undesirable change that results when a church ignores its current realities, denies its gifts and potential, and experiences the decline that inevitably results when it treasures the status quo. There is also the more desirable change that results when the church faces the truth about its effectiveness in mission, commits to steward its God-given abilities and opportunities, cooperates with the Spirit in following the “radical minimum standard” of discipleship (McManus), and experiences the transformation that God brings about.

If change in the church is inevitable, it makes sense to engage it intentionally. While church change is quite complex, especially in larger groups, there are dynamics of change and healthy process that are fairly universal. The ministry resources below highlight these factors.

Follow the links below to the separate pages under each category. Note also list at the bottom for resource suggestions in related areas.

Index to Ministry Resources on Transition and Church Change:

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Related Ministry Resources

Related Ministry Resources for Church Leadership:

See Resources on Over 100 Areas of Christian Ministry:

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