Not pocket change…those dimes and quarters and copper pennies no one wants anymore.
Not pocket change but circumstantial change and what it does to people.
I have noticed working in the church for 35 years that most people don’t like change (although some thrive on it). For most of us though change means that we must move out of our comfort zone and try something new.
We have gone through some big changes in our church recently – not only with the denominational change but also with Matt Hall leaving (our youth director) and Nate Schofield leaving (our music director). We are grateful for Anton Nel and all the talent he brings to our Sunday morning services. We are in the process of hiring a new youth director and receive resumes every day.
All of this is change, and hopefully change for the better. However it is not always easy to move from what we know to what we don’t know. There is a certain risk involved with change, and also a certain amount of grief.
Our subjective experience of change could be defined as a transition. William Bridges does a great job laying this all out in his book Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. He writes…
“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.”
Bridges’ model describes three phases of transition: the ending, the neutral zone, and the beginning. The ending is the giving up of the old way of doing things, the former beliefs, the comfortable patterns. People might be in denial or feel betrayed during this phase, especially if they feel they have no choice in the change.
The second phase, the neutral zone, is the period of discomfort when people have started to let go of the old and have not yet embraced the new. During this stage, we might feel anger, depression, confusion, or a low sense of self worth.
The final phase is the beginning. This is when we begin to see the possibilities and feel excited. This is when we find things about the new situation that we like, find favorite new options, and begin to enjoy settling in.
I thought this was interesting and timely. Also interesting is the juxtaposition of scripture that tells us that our God never changes, and yet he is always doing a new thing! Change is inevitable in our lives, even if uncomfortable. It is good to know that we have an unchanging God who helps us see promise and hope in new things.
I am off to Mexico now! We want to be changed in our hearts, and make positive changes there! May God grant us that grace. Pray for the team and pray for Rancho Santa Marta. Thanks for all of your support.