Something earth shattering is taking place in the next couple of weeks. Our congregation is going to a brand new format for our worship folders (bulletins). Change is never easy. But for some unknown reason, change seems to be especially difficult in Christian congregations. To be fair, people like to be comfortable in church. Transitions are apt to move people out of their comfort zones. And that can be difficult.
So we’re moving from a 14-page book-like thing, to a large, tri-fold piece of paper. The entire service will no longer be printed out. The new format will include an outline of the service, announcements, prayer requests, a weekly schedule, and all kinds of other information. We already present the entire service on screens in front of the church. Now people will be reliant on those screens and the hymnals in their hands. It’ll be “hard.” It’s a big change.
But maybe this change is coming at just the right time. The new church year is starting. After a long, hot Florida summer people seem just a little bit complacent. We’re on the verge of some major renovations and repairs to our buildings and property. So maybe, just maybe, this little jolt will be enough to bring a bit of life and light a little spark. In the grand scheme of things it’s small; but it’s big enough to open some eyes.
Here’s what can happen when change comes at just the right time:
- It shakes people out of complacency. When things are the same day after day, or week after week, it’s easy to get lulled into a sense of sameness. People get too comfortable. Comfort is OK for a couch or for a good night’s sleep. But when you’re trying to move forward and accomplish things comfort can hold you back. A little discomfort can be good for people or groups trying to move forward in significant ways.
- It breaks people of monotony. When boredom sets in it’s tough to get people motivated. But when they’re just a bit on edge their eyes are opened, their senses are heightened, and their wills are piqued. Responsible change breaks monotony and often inspires motivation.
- It wakes people to new possibilities. When even small change takes place it allows people to see that larger change can be good, and possible, as well. If we can make it through the trials and challenges of smaller change, our brains are awakened to the fact that overcoming larger obstacles might just be possible as well.
So, we’ll see how the new bulletin format goes. But I’m even more interested to see how the larger changes and challenges on the horizon are met. I’m willing to bet that they’ll be met with a bit of skepticism and fear. But I’m also willing to bet that the same skepticism and fear will turn into massive motivation and larger victories ahead. Stay tuned
What’s your attitude when you face changes in your life?