Change and an Old Pair of Slippers

I love my slipper20140802-100314.jpgs. Slippers are the first thing I put on my  feet when I get home and the last thing I take off before I go to bed. Slippers are special to me. So, when I find a pair of slippers that I like, I hold onto them for a long time. Sometimes I hold onto them for too long.

It was last week when I finally recognized the long overdue fact that my old slippers had to go. Even my daughters had told me, “Those are gross, Mom.” I finally made a move to do something about it.

Our leadership tools and worship habits are sometimes like my old slippers. Our leadership techniques can grow old and stale, get mildew and dirt on them, and plain old wear out. Our worship styles can grow old and tired too. Changes in our fast-paced culture require changes in our leadership. This is true in leadership in all arenas, but especially true in the church. Ways that we used to reach those who were not part of the church no longer work for the millennials, and frankly, no longer work even for baby boomers.

Take a good look at your leadership style in your church and beyond. What techniques need to be changed? What techniques need to be added to your tool belt? Most importantly, what needs to be thrown out?

So how do you learn about new leadership techniques? How do you change the set of tools that you use? How do you find that new pair of slippers? I will talk about that in depth in my next blog, for now know there are many conferences and leadership books that can give you some insights into how to do things differently. Many of those conferences can be accessed on-line. Catalyst is one such conference.

I needed to change my slippers. They were worn out and had passed their usefulness. I did a quick search on the internet and found a new pair that arrived in the mail yesterday, and they fit me perfectly. Change is hard, but change has to take place in order to allow God to “order our steps” into something new. What change to your leadership style needs to take place in order to be all God is calling you and your church to be?


Private Worship! DO NOT ENTER!


What message are we giving to those who pass by our parking lots? Often times we say that we are a warm and friendly congregation, but our actions, words and SIGNS tell a different story.  Here are three things you can do today that will empower you to tell a different story about who you are.

1) Take a good look around the outside of your church. This applies to big and small churches. What signs are posted? No parking? Pastor only? (Yes, pastors, this is about you too. Your reserved spot can be far from the church or get there early enough to get a good parking spot.) No skateboards? What would it look like to have a different kind of sign? What about, “Reserved for visitors.” What about a sign that said, “For Moms with babies?” What would it look like to talk to the kids who are skateboarding on your property and try to find them a place where they can hang? What are your signs telling the world? We might say we are warm and friendly, but often our signs tell a different story. They tell the world that we do not want you here. Our worship is private. Do not even try to come inside.

2) Another good question to explore is, “What signs do you need?” Are there signs that show how to get into the church? Are there signs that show where to find nursery, Bible studies, bathrooms? How are you showing your visitors what to do and where to go?

3) Harvey Carey teaches on leadership. In this video he describes how the outside world views churches as football huddles every Sunday morning. Churches are huddling together and the outside world does not see them doing anything. Is your church in a huddle, or are you inviting people to join you? Is your church in a huddle, or are they going out into the world making an impact?

What are you doing to break down the signs that say you are in a huddle? What are you doing to be in the game?