According to Lifeway Research, 46% of pastors say they’re challenged by the resistance to change in the church. Michael Nave, pastor of Cornerstone Church, follows up with Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources, on a conversation discussing the Greatest Needs of Pastors study and basic principles of leading change. In this conversation, they talk about areas where they see churches struggling to adapt.
Ben Mandrell: Let’s unpack that a little bit. I heard Jerry Seinfeld once talk about… he said that you always know what your dad’s favorite year of clothing was, ’cause he’s still wearing it. And I go into churches all the time. And just by the way, they’re doing church or just the culture of the church, you can tell what year of ministry was their favorite, ’cause they’re still wearing it.
Where do you see churches struggling to adapt? In what ways would you say to a pastor out there… “I’m leading a church that doesn’t want to change…” what would you say to him as a word of encouragement?
Michael Nave: Man, that’s so telling because it’s easy. It was easy for me back in my mid-twenties to pick that out in another church.
“Oh, you’re pining for the days of…” and then filling the blank. It is much harder for me now, being a mid-life guy, to recognize that in myself. And so we find it in our discussions. And wow, you’ve caught me in a place of “I don’t even think I know all my blind spots.” We have been quick to dismiss online. We have been quick to dismiss virtual stuff. We’ve been quick to dismiss, even, talk about this metaverse thing. And yet we must adapt. We must figure out where those blind spots are.
Ben Mandrell: We’ve been having conversations at Lifeway about the metaverse. I mean, it’s coming. This whole thing is real. People are gonna hang out virtually. It scares the daylights outta me. I feel like an old fuddy-duddy, because I’m like, “Are we really not gonna get rooms together and have coffee and lock eyes? Like we’re gonna meet up in the metaverse?”
Michael Nave: We’re gonna put on our gloves and then we can virtually shake hands. I mean, what?
Ben Mandrell: But here we are. We’re those guys. Who said you know, we’re not into what the future is.
So I really do think you’re wise in saying we may need some outside eyes. We may need some younger people to speak into where they see the church going and listen a little more carefully.
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