How to Master Leading Change in the Church

Leading change is difficult in churches. I’m always looking for fresh insight on how to effect change. Kevin Cashman wrote the book Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life, which I highly recommend. In one chapter he writes about mastering change in an organization. His insight applies to churches as well. I’ve adapted his suggestions below. As you read each contrast, ask yourself which one you tend to default to.


1. Focus on Opportunities vs. Problems

2. Focus on Long Term vs. Short Term. Don’t lost sight of your long-term vision in the midst of change.

3. Focus on Purpose vs. Circumstance. Keep focused on your church’s purpose and values, and your own as well, to avoid getting mired in difficult circumstances.

4. Focus on Adaptability vs. Control. Control will only yield a certain degree of results; good leaders must remain agile, flexible and innovative to sustain results over the long haul.

5. Focus on Service vs. Self. Serve your leaders during the stress of change.

6. Focus on Listening vs. Expertise. Effective leaders stay open and practice authentic listening to stay connected to others and to remain open to other innovative solutions.

What has helped you navigate change well?

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This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.

Charles Stone
Charles Stone

As a pastor for over 43 years, Charles Stone served as a lead pastor, associate pastor and church planter in churches from 50 to over 1,000. He now coaches and equips pastors and teams to effectively navigate the unique challenges ministry brings. By blending biblical principles with cutting-edge brain-based practices he helps them enhance their leadership abilities, elevate their preaching/ teaching skills and prioritize self-care. He is the author of seven books. For more information and to follow his blogs, visit