reimagine (3)


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: 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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​Deconstructing or Reconstructing Faith​?
​Phil Miglioratti @ The Remagine.Network

Most pastors have heard of deconstruction and some say they’ve seen it in their pews, but no one knows exactly what faith deconstruction means.
Just because someone is re-evaluating what they believe, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve quit believing entirely.”​ ​ Li​z​zy Haselstine
#ItSeemsToMe…some ​evangelicals ​are deconstructing but many of us are reconstructing. Inviting a Spirit-led, Scripture-fed review and, as necessary, revision of the containers we have designed to ​carry, the templates we have constructed to ​codify​,​ our beliefs and perspectives. A faith journey to ​assess where​ true faith ​has been contaminated or compromised by traditions​​ and​/or​ cultural biases ​we have​ begun to think of as correct - faultless - universal expressions of Holy Scripture
“Many have been influenced by culture instead of by the church” ​(LH) ... ​but reconstruction recognizes that ​norms and standards of ​culture have also influenced the church. Identifying ​customs-traditions-values that steer or dilute Scripture is essential to both personal ​discipleship ​and corporate ​culture​.
“People rely on their circumstances to create their worldviews” ​(LH) ... ​but so does our theologizing. Our creedal statements remain foundational but our interpretations and applications need constant​,​ thoughtful reflection ​to​ identif​y​ perspectives that are based ​up​on ​or shaped by​our tribal​/temporal​ context.
“Before we self-righteously point fingers at someone questioning God, take time to consider what that person may have gone through or be facing and pray for them. When someone is deconstructing their faith, it is not a time to criticize or be skeptical of them but to love them well”​ (LH) ...​ and to listen. They may have wisdom from the Spirit that applies to us as well.​ Failure to listen and learn will only result in more deconstruction (unbelief) than reconstruction (renewed belief).
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