Friday, January 2, 2015

Change Leadership and Faith

Is there a relationship between walking by faith and leading church change? If there is, how does faith manifest itself when we lead change?

Hebrews 11 is probably one of the most foundational passages of Scripture on this topic. Most of us have probably memorized some or all of it. And verses 1 and 2 give us this definition:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (NASB). 

The construction from the writer is interesting because we actually get 2 parallel definitions. By communicating it in that way, we are left on the one hand with things hoped for but not seen. But that is only part of the definition. On the other hand, with regard to those unseen, hoped for things, we must have assurance of their possibility and conviction about them coming to be.

Hope without conviction is merely dreaming. Hope with conviction releases the action necessary to see it come to pass. Where do I get this action in the passage? Most of the rest of the chapter goes on to give example after example of people who took action because they had not only hope, but conviction about their hope. Abel did this, Moses did that, and Abraham went even though he did not know where he was going.

Change leadership occurs at the intersection of things we are hoping for and can't see where we have assurance about them from Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and others in Christ. And that assurance always leads us to take action. We may be thinking about it, planning it, talking with others about it, asking others to think about it, listening, proposing, administrating, and following up. But at the heart of all of those things, change leadership is something unseen that we have an undying conviction about.

When hope is high but conviction is low, all we have is unfulfilled dreams. When conviction is high and hope is low, all we get is tradition and bureaucracy. And when we don't have either one, that leads only to anemia and death.

Have conviction about your hopes. Walk by faith, not by sight. Lead change in your church!

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