We recently made a big change in the way our church operates; truthfully we made a 180 degree shift in record time. In a matter of two months our church went from being centralized and focused on Sunday services to decentralized and focused on people. One of the crazy things about the whole transition is that as a general rule people don’t like change and we have seen 95% of Living Water Church stick through a huge transition. I don’t know about you but when there is that kind of buy in to change I think that God is on the move!
But, the real purpose of this post is about the time leading up to the decision to change things… maybe you have experienced something that you knew needed to change. How did you handle it? What did you do? Many times we have a feeling deep in our core that we need to do something, take a risk, stick up for the right thing. Unfortunately, all to often we let fear stop us from accomplishing things because of the unknown. Now don’t get me wrong, some fear can be okay… it can keep us from doing dumb things and that’s where this whole thing gets messy in our hearts and minds. Am I really supposed to do this or is it too risky, Is God really telling me to do this or did I eat some weird Chinese food last night? So if you don’t mind, I’d like to offer some practical advice for what to do when you are discontent or uncertain about what’s next.
Trust yourself to hear God’s voice. If there’s a recurring thought or concern there’s a good chance that the Holy Spirit is moving you to action.
Listen to the people around you. The beautiful thing about Living Water is that we have some exceptional leaders that genuinely care about the mission of the Church. When multiple people in leadership are feeling the same way as you or in our case it was unanimous… God’s speaking loud and clear that something needs to change.
Seek wise counsel. There truly is wisdom in seeking counsel from people further along than you and more mature than you. Whether you’re thinking about a career change, a move, engagement, or any other big decision identifying wise counsel to help you navigate life's decisions and discern what God may be doing is always a good move.
After you have listened to God, listened to the people around you and sought wise counsel you will know clearly one of three next steps.
Yes, you should make the change.
No, you should not make the change.
You should not change anything yet.
I have found myself in all three of these scenarios and let me tell you the third one is the hardest for me to deal with. Mostly because most of the time I want the change and when there isn’t a clear path or clear consensus among my peers and advisers and I’m not nearly abundantly clear from God then it’s easy to determine that the time is not right. Coming to this conclusion is one thing; accepting it is quite another, at least for me.
I’ve followed this process a few times regarding big decisions and I’ll tell you it’s not let me down yet. The great thing about this is that when you make big changes there will always be people that don’t like it, disagree with it, or just plain doubt you and your decisions. By working this process and hearing clearly from the creator of the universe, those closest to you, and a team of advisers, quite frankly anyone that doesn’t like your decision can get over it. You don’t have time to try to please people. Working hard to ensure that you are moving when God says move, and staying put when God says stay put. That is your priority. It will never make sense to everyone and that’s okay.
Know that you are loved,