Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

When I saw this t-shirt while shopping with my wife, I immediately wanted it.  My personality is such that I love change.  Change is the solution to every problem.  At least, that is how I think most of the time.  Why keep doing the same thing and keep getting the same result?  Isn’t that the definition of insanity?  Many of of think this way.  We are always looking for ways to improve our lives, our business, and our ministries by making changes.

We also find it difficult to understand why other people resist change.  Change is necessary if you want to get a different result, so why would people resist it so strongly?  Over the years, I have learned some things about change that people like me (love change) need to know.

Change is not the answer to everything.  The motto on the t-shirt is not always true.  Sometimes change can hinder what you desire to see happen.  Rather than making a change, perhaps the solution is to implement the process of decisions that have already been made more effectively.  Often times we want to make changes rather than give something some time to generate the results anticipated.

Change must be paced.  Some people can deal with lots of changes in a very short period of time.  However, most people can only handle so much change and then they shut down.  How much change have you been making in the recent past?  Do you here people complaining about the speed of changes taking place?  Are you allowing time for people to breathe and adjust to the changes already implemented?  A good decision to change can have a disastrous result simply because of the timing of the decision.

Change must be thought out.  “Change” people are also often “impulsive” people.  Before making a change, think through all the consequences of the change, both positive and negative.  Give some time for other people to weigh in on the change you see as beneficial.

Change can cause problems for other people.  When you propose a change, you are seeing all the positive impact of the change imagined.  You are excited about it and are anxious to get moving.  “Change” people want to see movement.  They don’t like to wait or to be slowed down.  Basically there are two other personalities that don’t see change in the same way that you do.  The first is the person who is people oriented.  They consider every change in light of how it will impact other people, both positive and negative.  If the impact is negative (will hurt someone), they will find the change difficult get on board with and may fight you.  Before making changes, consider working through the change ideas with those “people” people and how the change in the long run will be a benefit rather than hurting others.  The second kind of person wants to make sure the change is the “right” one, and that it is implemented “correctly” and will get us to the right result.  This person needs a well thought out plan to get on board.  If you keep having to make adjustments to the plan, your plan was not well thought out.  Get these people on board by asking for their help to put together the plan before you put it out there.

In the end, I still want to make change because without change, nothing changes.  But I have learned some wisdom about making change that has slowed my implementation of change, but has made change more effective for all of us.

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.