Leading Through Change

Like many others, I’ve dealt with my fair share of change, from entering the world as a navy brat to spending my grade school and teenage years as part of a family dependent on the oilfield.

Relocating, attending new schools, starting all over again in different cities… these changes were all a part of my “normal”. And then, what career did I choose to get involved with? The entertainment business. Could I have picked a path more rife with change? Suffice it to say, even with the relentless weekend schedules and it’s associated craziness, working at a church has become quite an unexpected rock for me. Something I could count on, depend on…even build a future on.

All was right with the world until I was told that the leadership of our church would be passed down from our Senior Pastor to his oldest son. Upon hearing this, I had several feelings: excitement, anticipation, wonderment…

And then, apprehension.

And then, maybe a wee bit of fear actually.

How would this affect the future? How would the church react? Would I still be needed? Did I need to start looking for another job?

Those were all feelings that shot through my brain during that first day or so. As I kept working through the tasks at hand and interacting with different staff members though, I began to see that now, more than ever, I was going to be needed…and in a big way. Was it possible that God had placed me here for just a time as this? As I started processing some of these pending changes, I knew that my leadership, talents, opinions, reliance, and perspective would be needed now more than ever before. And interestingly enough, I found myself actually getting excited about the future.

Of course, my tendency as a flawed human was to immediately think of MY own self and what this change was going to mean for MY future and MY situation. My, My, My. Trusting in the leadership of my Senior Pastor and now a new Executive Pastor was all that was required of me. Now was the time to have a little faith that we were all put here to ride this thing out. Good or bad, God knew that this was going to happen. He had cultivated in me exactly what was going to be needed. Now was time for action. Now was the time to LEAD.

Don’t get me wrong, embracing this change hasn’t been easy. Our leadership structure has completely changed and is still taking a lot to get used to. The results required from my department have changed and are continuing to change. The expectations and communication with other staff members have changed. My responsibilities and what I’m expected to deliver on have changed.

Supporting these changes has made a massive difference. My support of our new Pastor was not only paramount to the success of my team, but it was necessary to MY success. I had to learn that my strength was actually going to be part of our church’s success or failure. My buy­-in and attitude were pivotal. My team was looking to me to figure out how they were to react and function. Evident strength from me would not only show my support for this new role but would exemplify just how much more work God had for this church to accomplish.

There are people in our community and elsewhere that are affected by our church’s sphere of influence. God initiated this change for exactly this time with exactly this set of circumstances and He chose me to be a part of making this happen. That’s a big deal—one I take quite seriously.

Have you been through a similar circumstance? Or, perhaps you’re in a similar situation right now? I encourage you to make the decision today to believe that you are exactly the right person for your given situation, placed here at exactly the right time. We cannot possibly fathom the path that God has set before us. Trust where you have been placed. Take seriously the leadership with which you have been entrusted. God loves his Church—embrace this with all of your heart. God, and your church, deserve nothing less than your leadership.

Andrew Stone is the Production Manager and Audio Director at Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK. His 25 years of touring experience have brought a unique, and sometimes unorthodox, perspective to his approach towards production in the church. He has been a key part of changing the culture behind COTM’s live events and he loves sharing his knowledge with other churches.

Andrew has been married for 19 years, rarely wears anything but black, and genuinely loves to rock. You can find him on Twitter (@stone_rocks) or on Seeds, COTM’s free resource site, as a blog contributor (http://seeds.churchonthemove.com).

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