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Hillcrest Church Office
September 9, 2004
LeaderLines is a weekly “e-briefing” providing valuable information and inspiration to those who serve at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
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Here is this week's
The Four Phases of Change: Resistance
by Tom Goodman
In last week’s edition of LeaderLines, we started talking about change. Faced any lately?
Successfully moving a group through change means moving through four inevitable stages: Denial, Resistance, Exploration, and Commitment. It’s like crossing a river. One bank is labeled “Denial” and the other bank is labeled “Commitment.” In between, and below the surface of the river, are the phases of “Resistance” and “Exploration.” If you have to lead a group to change, you have to know which stage the group is working through, and you have to lead them to the next stage.
Last week we looked at the first stage: Denial. Apathy or fear or a simple lack of awareness leads people to deny the need for any change. To move beyond the denial phase, people need to receive constant information concerning the reality of the situation and the ineffectiveness of current solutions.
As this information filters through the group and changes start being proposed, the group enters the second Phase of Change: Resistance. No longer able to stay in the past but not yet willing to accept the future, people resist change. People feel anger and a sense of loss. It is common to experience anxiety and depression. In their pain, sometimes people lash out against the one(s) making the change.
If you have to lead a group to change, your job at this stage is to be accessible, to listen, to acknowledge people’s feelings, and to be empathetic and supportive. While people need information to get through the first stage (Denial), people need a trusting relationship with the one(s) proposing change to get through the second stage (Resistance). Still, even though the leader(s) must affirm the past, the focus must be on the future.
Next week, we’ll look at the next phase of change: Exploration.
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Upward Basketball Evaluation: This Saturday at Hillcrest, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact David and Jennifer Tobey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bible Study Huddle: This Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Sunday School workers should meet in the Worship Center for the opening of the evening service. You will be released for your meeting after the music.
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