I used to think that leading change was a leadership skill that only applied to pastors of established churches. Having a baby changed my perspective. As soon as Gabby was born she began to change.
Church planters need to develop skills to navigate transition and change as much as anyone, for two simple reasons. First, as soon as a new church is born, it begins to change. You want it to change in the right direction. Second, no church plant is perfect. They all have strengths and weaknesses, and leading change is the important process of continually improving your organization.
The truth is, leaders in any organization must effectively lead through transition. That is why Scott Wilson's book, Steering Through Chaos, is such an important resource.
Scott leads The Oaks Fellowship in Dallas. The church is experiencing amazing growth, due in large part to some important changes that have taken place through Scott's leadership.
One concept that Scott develops was particularly intriguing to me. As leaders, we don't simply try to deal with transition when it does happen. We actually create transition. He points out that transition and change is not a necessary evil to be endured, but a positive opportunity to be embraced.
I also appreciate the way Scott highlights the importance of spiritual leadership in the midst of change. Specifically, he talks about the importance of corporate prayer during times of transition in the life of a church.
Steering Through Chaos also includes profiles from several leading thinkers including Larry Osborne, Dino Rizzo, Greg Surratt, Tim Stevens, and Sam Chand. I know I'll be putting it to use as we plant churches in Philadelphia!
I'd encourage you to pick up a copy of the book for yourself.