LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
September 16, 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 LeaderLines. . . .

“The Four Phases of Change: Exploration”
by Tom Goodman

We’ve been looking at change in the last few editions of LeaderLines.  Successfully moving a group through change means moving through four inevitable stages:  Denial, Resistance, Exploration, and Commitment.  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.

In the last two weeks we looked at the first two stages.  In the Denial stage, 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.

In the Resistance stage, people know they can no longer stay with past methods or habits, but they are not willing to accept change either.  People feel anger and a sense of loss.  People need a trusting relationship with the one(s) initiating change at this stage.

The third step toward change is Exploration.  Here individuals and groups begin to explore the possibility of new methods and habits.  It’s an awkward phase because people are trying new things:  Imagine getting on a bike for the first time in your fifties!

The one(s) leading change need to understand this awkwardness.  The leader(s) must not see questions and discouragement as signs of opposition.  People need to be free to ask questions, even silly questions.  People need to have room to experiment and even fail as they try to adjust to the changes.  Leader(s) should not grow impatient; progress should be judged by the progress people have made and not by all the distance they still have to travel.  A good word for those who lead change is found in Zechariah 4:10 (NLT):  “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”

Next week we’ll look at the last of the four stages toward change:  Commitment.  God bless your leadership!


Important Notes:

“Taste of Far West.”  Drop by the shops on Far West this Saturday, Sept 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.!  Hillcrest is joining the shop owners in organizing a community festival.  Booths and games will introduce the community to the merchants . . . and to our church!
H.O.S.T. Leader Training.  If you’ve signed up to be a HOST leader for our “Purpose-Driven Life” Campaign, come to the training this Sunday, September 19, 9:30 a.m. (during the Bible study hour).
Does Your Neighborhood Association or Apartment Complex Have a Newsletter?  If so, please sponsor an ad in your area’s newsletter about our upcoming Purpose-Driven Life campaign.  You’ll want to contact those who publish your newsletter to find out about cost, deadline, and other details.  Then contact Patty Waldo at pkwaldo@waldos.net so she can get you the information you’ll need.
Send an E-Card!  You can send an e-card regarding Hillcrest events.  There’s one for  Movie Messages and a new one promoting the Purpose-Driven Life.  Send your friends an e-card at www.HillcrestAustin.org/ecard.