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“Change only occurs when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change.” – Unknown

“I put a dollar in one of those change machines and nothing changed.” – George Carlin

I spend much of my time today doing the dreaded “c” word – consulting. I talk with pastors and leaders of faith based nonprofits about thinking forward. Today, I spent the better part of two hours with a friend and client who has just come to realize a couple of things. He figured out that after two years of pushing for change, nothing has changed. He also made the observation that the status quo was just not painful enough yet to demand change.
I have been there. Oh, for sure, I have been there as the leader of change, but I am talking about as the one who did not want to change. I lost a lot of weight last year because the pain of staying the same was greater than the pain of change. I don’t walk two miles every day because I like to walk. In fact, I hate to walk, but the pain of not being able to walk and ride roller coasters with my kids and wife was greater than the daily pain of walking. I didn’t want to admit I was battling depression but the pain of trying to overcome it on my own became so great that I saw a doctor, a counselor, and a support group. I tried to do it the easy way, like Carlin. I wanted to just put some money in and get a change. It didn’t work. I had to do some things differently if  I was going to have a better life. Heck, I had to do some things differently if I was going to live.
Yet, organizations and churches rarely get to that threshold of pain in time to turn the ship around. From your current position, what can you do to help your organization embrace change in a healthy process? Are you willing to do the hard work of leading change?

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