This leadership rule is applicable in all areas of life, not just leaders but in business, churches, schools, and people. Can you imagine a business still using the same technology and ways that they did business in the 1940′s? What if the United States Military still operated and used the same tools (planes, tanks, jeeps, weapons, and battle armor) that they used in WWII? When I was in high school, there were no computers nor computer classes. Can you imagine what an injustice it would be to our children today if schools still used typewriters and not computers to train our children?
People also change. Each and everyday something in our world happens and causes our lives to change. Sometimes it’s a very small change and other times it is a big change all at once. Most of the time we don’t like change and I want to explore some of those reasons in a minute, but change is a real part of our daily lives for without change there is death. Nothing lives without experiencing change.
As Christians, the Bible states that we live a “new life.” (Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.) A new life involves change from our old life. We should have the expectation, as Christians, that we are growing to be more like Christ. This takes change. Wesley called it Sanctification (which is a big word for becoming more like Christ). Too many people believe that being a Christian means you sit on a pew for an hour a week and listen to a sermon. By taking that approach, people are missing out on so much that Christ has to offer.
So why do we dislike change so much?
1. Change Can Hurt: My 15 year old had a growth spurt a couple of years ago and she complained about pain in her legs. When we asked her doctor about it, he said that she was experiencing growing pains. Her bones were lengthening and during her growth spurts it was common for some pain to be involved. This is often the case with life. With change there is often a loss associated with the change and losses in our life hurt. The loss of a loved one, a job, a way of life, and a host of other things will all bring about change and hurt. Yet, this times of hurt can be an incredible growing time in our faith and lives.
2. Change is Different: We get used to our lives and comfortable in them. We like to know what to expect and with change we don’t know what is around the next corner. In familiariaty of life there is comfort and security and change will disrupt that.
3. Change is Scary: We like to think that we are the masters of our universe. We like to be in control and change can remove that control from our lives. Being out of control is a very scary place to be.
4. Change Happens: Regardless of whether we desire change or not, it happens and very few things stay the same. Things that stay the same will quickly lose their relevancy and the only exception that I have ever found to this is the Word of God.
5. Change is Necessary: We lose our effectiveness without change. A leader who does not grow in their field of expertise will quickly found themselves outdated and ineffective.
As leaders, we never outgrow the need for change. We should lead with the expectation that we don’t know it all and therefore must always be striving to improve ourselves. As Christians we should have the heart-burning desire for our lives to become more like the life of our Master, Jesus. It’s a process and one that does not happen over night but one which happens over time.