After coaching over 1,200 Senior Pastors since 2006, I take great pleasure in seeing how God is using those pastors and their leadership to impact His Kingdom.
One such pastor is Gabe Kolstad, a multi-time Advanced Coaching Alumni and Senior Pastor of Westside Community Church in Beaverton, Oregon. I’ve asked him to share a series of posts in the coming weeks about what he’s learned in leading a healthy, growing turnaround church.
Guest Post – One Powerful Question for Making Changes In Your Church
Gabe Kolstad here, and I’m excited to be part of Nelson’s blog for the next few weeks. I’ve learned so much by connecting with him and the CLI family and it’s a privilege to be part of it.
In my experience leading a turnaround church over the past 5 years, I’ve had my fair share of wounds and scars as a result of making changes that I knew were necessary, but weren’t always popular. As I’ve discovered, we can get better at making changes by understanding which changes need to come first, and what makes change effective.
I’m talking today about asking a very simple but powerful question when it comes to the subject of change in our churches. The truth is, doctors ask it, mechanics ask it, and technicians of all kinds ask it. But for some reason pastors are notorious for not asking this important question – one of the most basic questions for improving any situation.
The question is, “Where does it hurt?”
As a pastor I agree that this can seem like a simplistic approach. It should be harder than that, right? But the truth is that God gives us pain so we’ll know when something is wrong. Think about it. What if your hand DIDN’T hurt when you touched a hot stove? You could do some serious damage before making a course correction.
Apparently God has given pain as a gift in order to save us from even more dangerous pain.
So what needs to change in your church? Most likely the thing that hurts the most.
The area where you feel the most pain is a great place to turn your attention in order to improve the health of your church, make a bigger difference, and bring God glory.
If you’re like me you’ll have more than one answer to that question. You might say “finances” or “conflict” or “staffing” or “time management” or “planning” “facilities” or some variation of those issues.
In that case save yourself even more pain and take this advice: Address the pain that will cost you the least, create the quickest win, and bring the greatest return on resources. In other words, make the smartest change first. After all, the Church belongs to Jesus and we are His managers.
When I was just getting ready to change positions at our church 5 years ago (from Associate Pastor to Lead Pastor), the answer to our pain question was, SYSTEMS! We were in pain because we had to constantly reinvent every process in our entire church all the time.
I’m thankful for the wisdom I’ve gained and the strategies I’ve learned from Nelson to introduce systems for a healthier church. With systems in place we have had the energy to address the other hurts in our church so we can become all that God has in mind.
So…where does it hurt?
Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at some proven and practical tips for leading changes in your church that will lead to health, growth, and Kingdom impact. Stay tuned!
P.S. If you answer the “Where does it hurt?” question like Gabe – the lack of healthy church systems – I (Nelson) would like to help you.
My new Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network starts THIS Thursday, August 30, and over the next 12 months, I’ll teach you and help you implement each of the 8 systems of a healthy church.
Click here to Read More and Join Today!
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