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 GUEST POST ~  Thom Rainer

Your Church Must Deal With Rapid Change


“Our team has conducted hundreds of church consultations. I did my first consultation in 1988. We have a plethora of anecdotal data and church member interviews where we see that Baby Boomers are often the most resistant to change. Indeed, in some of the churches, the Baby Boomer members decided to close the church rather than infringe upon their personal preferences (Church Answers Research).


“Many churches will likely have new opportunities to make needed changes for greater congregational health as the Baby Boomers fade from the scene.


“Innovation and change in churches will improve.”



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GUEST POST ~ The Surpsing First Step for Lasting Change

The surprising first step for lasting change

New blog post from Bob Logan

How do I start over? What can I do to I pull people back in? How do I deal with polarization in the church? How do I recapture the mission of the church? What does it look like to move people forward from a practical standpoint? Dozens of key questions weighing on church leadership right now can be summed up with this one question: How do we get from HERE to THERE? And it’s a great question! At its root, it’s a question about the process of transition. 


Change vs. Transition

The best resource that I have come across on this topic is Managing Transitions, by William Bridges. In the book, Bridges explains that change is external—change happens to us, whereas transition is internal—transition is the psychological (and spiritual) process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. 

The last 15 months have been filled with rapid-fire changes surrounding topics that are foundational to the way we do life on an individual, community, national, and global level. In short, a lot has changed and we are still processing it.

You are in the middle of transition and so is every single person you are leading.


The process of transition 

Bridges breaks the process of transition into three main parts: Letting Go, The Neutral Zone, and The New Beginning. We are going to take it slow and walk through these parts over the next few blog posts. 

The first step: Letting Go

“Failure to identify and be ready for the endings and losses that change produces is the largest single problem that organizations in transition encounter.” —William Bridges

Simply put, change means loss. Even good changes like the birth of a new baby, a new job, or moving to a new town require letting go of the old to make room for the new. Simply put but not as simple to do. Of course there is much joy when adding a baby to the family but there is loss too: sleep, priorities, your time being your own, space, date night, money… there’s a lot to let go of in order to fully embrace the joy of a new baby.

Now think of the changes you experienced in the last 15 months. Many were sudden and scary and unwelcome but that didn’t stop them from happening. You mastered the “pivot” because it allowed you to keep moving forward but how well did you stop to identify the endings and losses in the process? 

It’s time to slow down and process the losses from the last 15 months. By processing loss thoroughly, you can move forward intentionally and effectively.


Here are 5 steps to guide you through the process of letting go:

1. Identify the losses

Make a list of changes, including pivots, that were made over the last 15 months (i.e. stay-at-home, store hours, online church, etc.) For each one to occur, something had to end. Think through the ripple effect of each change. 

  • What physical or tangible things were lost as a result? 
  • Were there mental processes that were impacted? If so, what and how?
  • How were you affected emotionally?
  • What relationships were affected and how?

2. Acknowledge the loss

It will be tempting to shrug some of this off as no big deal. But as they say, “It’s the little things…” Each loss is still a loss. The sense of loss tends to grow when not acknowledged. Take some time to recognize and acknowledge what each loss means to you. 

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself going through the classic stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The grieving process is normal, however, getting stuck in any one stage can act like a millstone keeping you from moving forward. Should you get stuck in one stage, reach out to a trusted friend, mentor, or therapist who can help you walk through the process.


3. Don’t buy into hyperbole.

Life isn’t OVER. It’s not ALL bad. It won’t ALWAYS be this way. Yes, some things have ended but if you find yourself using hyperbolic language it may be time to rehearse what hasn’t changed. You may even want to go back to your list of changes/losses to add on and answer “What is still true or hasn’t changed?” 

It’s good to be specific but let me pause here for an important reminder: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” —Hebrews 13:8 

The way we do church may change but the mission of the church will never change. Jesus has called us to love the Lord, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to make disciples. These will never change as our God will never change.


4. Punctuate each loss

Punctuation is powerful. It tells us when to pause, what comes next, and when it’s over. When looking over your list you may see losses that are temporary (…), some with undetermined futures (?), and some that are permanent (. or !). Take time to consider the punctuation for each loss honestly. Some you may hope are temporary but in reality will never be the same. 

  • How does each affect you? 
  • What needs to be done in order to move on?
  • How can you work to keep the vision alive on temporary losses?
  • What do you need to move a loss from undetermined to temporary or permanent?
  • How can you honor the past and close the door on permanent losses?


5. Guide others through the process

How do you move people forward? The first step is to let them know that they are seen and heard. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people struggled with pivoting because all they could see was the loss and they felt like leaders were blind to it. As you go through this process, recognize that those you are leading need to go through it as well. Look back at your list and think it through from the perspective of different people within your staff and congregation. Walking in their shoes you will find additional, or at least different, losses. Then talk about the elephant in the room… acknowledge their losses, mourn with them, and help them let go.

  • What losses may have been overlooked in all the pivoting? Is there a demographic that stands out?
  • What do you need to pause in order to address loss?
  • How can you honor the past as you plan to move forward?



The Discipleship Difference– Follow a pastor as he transitions his congregation to a more effective disciplemaking culture.  People do not grow in Christ linearly. So, why do we expect a linear discipleship program to work for everyone? Nonlinear does not have to be complicated. The Discipleship Difference outlines ways to meet people where they are at while walking through intentional and measurable discipleship.

Becoming Barnabas– Processing transition cannot be done by just one person. You need a team of encouragers to come alongside people and walk them through the process. Becoming Barnabas casts vision for such a team within the church. When you are ready to train up some Barnabas’s, check out the Barnabas Ministry Training Kit.

Photo by Ehteshamul Haque Adit on Unsplash

The post The surprising first step for lasting change appeared first on Logan Leadership.


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GUEST POST ~ Fostering Spiritual Transformation

Are you seeing transformation?

New blog post from Bob Logan

The gospel itself–Jesus’ death and resurrection–is an overwhelmingly powerful story of transformation. When all hope seems lost, we see light. Something difficult becomes something beautiful. The Red Sea rolls back to reveal dry land. The new heavens and the new earth arise from the ashes of the old. That’s the story of the gospel. As a senior pastor, where are you currently seeing that kind of change? Even the kernels of such change can provide much-needed hope for your people. 

If you yourself have been transformed by the grace of God, you can then go on to help others experience that same powerful change. Our God is a God who loves us too much to let us remain as we are. He has so much for us to learn, grow, experience, and do. Senior pastors are uniquely positioned to lead and guide others toward the joy and challenge that is spiritual transformation. 

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Fostering Spiritual Transformation  

For the purpose of the Senior Pastor Profile, Fostering Spiritual Transformation means engaging and equipping others to deepen their walk with Jesus.

Jesus promises significant transformation to those who place their trust in him:  

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24

The very rite of baptism at conversion provides an image of cleansing, renewal, and rebirth, as it symbolizes crossing over from death to life. John the Baptist clarified: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). That is the power source of the change: God himself. If we are in him, we become a new creation. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The Christian faith is a continual retelling of a story of transformation, restoration, and new creation. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

One important element to remember is that we, as mere humans, cannot generate spiritual formation in others. We cannot make it happen. Only God has the power to bring about spiritual transformation. We, however, can engage in behaviors that foster and promote it in others. 

7 Habits that Demonstrate Fostering Spiritual Transformation  

What does it look like for someone to foster spiritual transformation? Although it’s a bit different for everyone, here are some of the features held in common:  

1. Cultivates prayer, worship, and listening to the Holy Spirit

If a senior pastor does not set an example of cultivating prayer and worship and listening to the Holy Spirit, how will the congregation learn? They need to see this example set and modeled and prioritized for all. That is how they will know what the church is called to be and do. 

2. Creates relational environments for life change 

Within every large group, smaller pockets of community need to be available for real-life interpersonal change. People need those close relationships to grow and change, sometimes fail, and then get back on their feet. Without it, each person will be ultimately alone and likely pretending to be somewhere they aren’t. How much better to be in an honest relational environment?   

3. Delivers transformational messages 

Transformation is difficult. That’s why we all need reminding… regular reminding. Preach about the coming Kingdom, the new heaven and the new earth, the small glimpses and tastes of that we experience here and now, and how we can move toward all that God has for us. Without a message of hope for change, the people wander and ultimately perish. 

4. Helps people apply biblical principles in contemporary contexts 

The Bible was written a long time ago, and not everyone has been to seminary and able to interpret all of the context. Yet everyone who believes does have the Holy Spirit within them to help them understand the word of God. As a senior pastor, provide guardrails and guidance for how to apply the Bible and its principles to everyday life. Point them to the essentials and how to live those out. Without that, people tend to become focused on the non-essentials and the divisive. 

5. Shares personal experiences of spiritual growth 

If the senior pastor isn’t growing, others won’t either. And if the senior pastor isn’t sharing about that growth–including the times when he or she doesn’t look perfect–others won’t open up either. If we are to be humans on a journey of growth where the path isn’t always straight, we need to hear the stories of others who have gone before us… and that includes from our senior leaders. 

6. Facilitates growth that includes both inward and outward components

The transformative growth that we model isn’t just words and it isn’t just behaviors–it’s an entire holistic experience of change. Transformation includes emotions, ideas, joy, memories, actions, words, and initiatives that reach out into the world. It starts on the inside, but if it’s real, it works its way outward to ways the whole world can see. 

7. Inspires people to godly action 

We can help people not only learn the scriptures, but live them out in ways that promote godly action and real world impact. Setting the tone for change—and indeed, the expectation of change—is one of the essential elements of a senior pastor’s role. This is a faith based in resurrection, new life, and the world to come… and we all have a part to play in that coming Kingdom.  

How well are you fostering spiritual transformation? 

If you would like to assess yourself in this area, take some time to reflect on the following questions. Write out your answers for more complete processing, or talk them through with someone if you’re more of a verbal processor. 

  • How have you facilitated prayer, worship, and listening to the Holy Spirit in your community?   
  • What relational environments for life change have you created? 
  • To what degree does your preaching result in transformation?  
  • How do you help people apply biblical principles in their contemporary contexts? 
  • When have you shared personal experiences of spiritual growth?   
  • How have you facilitated spiritual growth that includes both inward and outward components?  
  • How have you inspired people to godly action? 

Fostering Spiritual transformation is 1 of 12 qualities that have been proven to be essential to successful and healthy senior church leadership. To learn more, read The BEST qualities in a Senior Pastor. Next week, look out for another crucial quality for senior pastors.  


Feeling the weight of fostering transformation on your own? Grab a few good folks and get them on board by walking with them through The Guide for Discipling‘s series on Community Transformation. Outward focus tends to start a softening work in people’s hearts. Once you see that work begin move on to the series on Personal Transformation. Bringing others on the journey will lessen your load and expand your influence. The studies have been adapted for the Vineyard, Lutheran, and Episcopalian denominations. You can find the full set of guides HERE.

Christian Coaching Essentials

Christian Coaching Essentials

Developing people to be all that God created them to be is the heart behind empowering spiritual transformation. Learning simple coaching techniques raising your ability to that exponentially. Christian Coaching Essentials is a brand new book that teaches you all you need to know to implement effective coaching.


Experiencing excellent coaching is a catalyst to coaching with excellence. Dr. Bob Logan and Dr. Gary Reinecke are taking a small group of leaders through coach training beginning April 20th, 2023! Get details at Christian Coaching ToolsRegister today and pay in full by April 1, 2023 and get $500 off your Cohort Tuition!

Photo by Cyrus Crossan on Unsplash

The post Are you seeing transformation? appeared first on Logan Leadership.


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GUEST-POST: Was "Reimagine" Jesus' 1st Word?

By Emily Provance

In Bible study, we've been reading Mark. The first words that Jesus says are, "The time has come, and God's kingdom is near. Change the way you think and act, and believe the Good News."

This is the sort of statement that has launched a bajillion theological debates. Must we change? Or must we believe? Or must we change in order to believe? Or must we believe in order to change? Was Jesus speaking to individuals? Or was Jesus speaking to whole communities?

(Sometimes I suspect that Jesus must be very exasperated with all of us.)

For some, Christianity hinges entirely on belief. If we've accepted Jesus into our hearts, then we are saved. Heaven-bound. Nothing can change that. But this theology feels wrong to me. It seems to suggest our behavior doesn't matter, or at least that it doesn't matter very much. It also doesn't imply an obligation to relieve other people's suffering. We might be tempted just to evangelize. "If you believe in Jesus, you'll be happy in heaven." But something--I think God, but even if not, something embedded in the moral fabric of the universe--compels us to do more, or at the very least to try. Safety, food, shelter, medicine, education, and freedom for everyone feels like a minimum.

Many of the Quakers I know lean very far in the opposite theological direction. Changing the way we think and act matters, but belief does not. We spend a lot of time emphasizing behavior. Showing love and kindness. Writing to representatives. Feeding the hungry. Vigiling for peace. And liberal Friends especially work really hard on changing how we think. Unlearning systemic racism, for example, and homophobia. All of this is extremely important. It's a vital part of what we're called to do.

But Jesus did not say change or believe. Jesus said change and believe. And sometimes we really deemphasize belief. Many of us even say that a virtue of Quakerism is not insisting on beliefs. This position, when taken to the extreme, is unfaithful.

The statement Jesus preached is all of a piece: "The time has come, and God's kingdom is near. Change the way you think and act, and believe the Good News."

I think it matters a lot whether we believe the time has come and God's kingdom is near. It matters because of what happens if we don't believe. The time has come; Christ Jesus has come to teach His people for Himself. God's kingdom is near; we need not wait for the establishment of the kingdom. If we believe the Good News, then we believe we can and will be guided, and we believe God's kingdom can be and is manifested on Earth right now. 

What happens if we don't believe we can and will be guided by God? If we don't believe, we don't listen. God is speaking, but we are not hearing. We are leaning, instead, on our own understanding. No matter how smart we are, we are not God.

What happens if we don't believe God's kingdom can be and is manifested on Earth right now? If we don't believe, we see limits on what's possible. We make decisions based on what we think can be achieved. We hope for something less than God's kingdom. We don't even try for the fulness of what can be.

Quakerism is not a religion where belief doesn't matter. On the contrary, certain beliefs are essential, foundational, to our collective identity and calling. This isn't the same thing as developing a creed and requiring one another to recite it. It's more along the lines of acting as if the truth were true. Elf Bumblespice would tell us, "Deciding to believe is a very powerful thing."

With love,

Emily Provance

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