When it comes to change, church leadership moves slowly. Sometimes this is good; no one wishes to move quickly and make a huge mistake. However, there are times when change is obvious. And, even then, change comes either slowly or not at all. In many cases where change is obvious, we see indecision.
There are two choices: (1) we either keep things the way they are because of FEAR, or (2) we move ahead in FAITH and make the necessary changes. There is little middle ground. The bottom line is this: Is this God’s Will and will we obey Him out of faith?
Consider some of the fears we have:
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN – this is a natural tendency. We prefer to stay in our comfort zone and not try anything new or different. Not changing is safe (or at least we think so). But then again, the unfamiliar and the unknown create excitement and more importantly, express faith. We walk by faith and not by sight.
FEAR OF CRITICISM AND REJECTION– this is the “BIGGIE” among church leaders. We are afraid of what the brethren will think or do. We are afraid that we will be criticized and we are afraid that “our idea” will be rejected. We are even more afraid that members will ‘vote’ with their feet and money. Why not be more concerned about pleasing the Lord versus pleasing the brethren. A faithful steward does not seek to please men.
FEAR OF FAILURE– we are afraid that we will fail. What does failure look like? More importantly, what is failure? Sometimes failure is not doing what the Lord wants us to do. We fail to act in faith. We fail to do His will. We fail to try. We fail to ask His blessings. Fear of failure is not a good excuse or reason to not do the right things.
FEAR OF THE RISKS & THE COSTS– many leaders fear the risks and the costs (money, time, effort, etc.) will be too high. I would simply ask, “Is this God’s Will?” If it is God’s Will, He will supply what we need. And, if it is God’s Will, it is worth all the money, effort, time and energy. Somewhere along the way, we have lost the principle of sacrifice for the cause of Christ. We want a comfortable Christianity. Such is not found in the Bible.
God did NOT give us a spirit of fear (cf. 2 Tim.1:7); I submit that ungodly fear is from Satan. Our fear paralyzes us and displeases the Lord. He DID, however give us a spirit of power, love and discipline. We simply need to allow such a spirit to drive us in making decisions and executing God’s Will in our congregations.
Trav