Choose To Change One Thing This Summer

Written by Keith Doornbos
June 5, 2023

What was the one thing that most annoyed you during the past year? Here are 7 steps to help you change that "one thing" this summer.

The 2022/23 ministry season has ended. What was the one thing that most annoyed you during the past year? Was it misspelled worship slides, leadership meetings that majored in minors, a poorly run children’s ministry, horrible coffee, staff that did not show up for vision meetings, landscaping that is an embarrassment to the community, lame sayings on the church sign or, perhaps, poorly planned youth outings? Understand this, what annoys you annoys others. In fact, these annoyances may be a barrier to a healthy, thriving, community-focused ministry. Little things can be big things.

  • Summer is the time to fix the one thing which, more than any other thing, has been annoying you all year. Please note, summer is not about fixing five things… just one thing. Summer is short, congregants are on vacation, and staff are hoping to catch their breath, so choose your “one thing” wisely.
Seven Steps for Changing That “One Thing”
STEP 1: Make sure it is a problem that needs to be solved.
  • Not every annoyance is a problem to be solved. Sometimes, annoyances just need to be managed. A price will be paid for changing the “one thing.” Decide if this is a personal concern or a systemic problem
Step 2: Imagine a preferred future.
  • Develop a better way of doing what is presently being done poorly. What would a better future look like? How would people behave? Who would be in charge? What procedures would be followed?
Step 3: Determine the process.
  • Having an idea is not the same as having a plan. Create a plan that identifies the people, the resources, the timetables, and the step-by-step journey for getting from here to there.
Step 4: Get Support From Key Leaders.
  • Making changes without consulting key leaders puts change agents at risk. Explain what is annoying you, why you think this should be changed and the process by which you hope to make those changes.
Step 5: Have tough conversations.
  • No change takes place without tough conversations (face-to-face meetings only… no emails). Tough conversations are softened with thank-yous, a willingness to listen, casting a vision and offering a plan.
Step 6: Start Now.
  • The process for change cannot wait until August. If change is rushed at the end, the plan will not get traction and it will upset those who have made summer investments in preparation for fall beginnings.
Step 7: Accept the Pain.
  • Words of appreciation are a future gift for changes made in the present. In the near term, change will be accompanied by grumbling and misunderstanding. Accept this as the price for improving our life together.

What “one thing” would you like to change this summer? Reply and let us know!

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