Leading Change and Creating Urgency

How do you lead people into change?

Campus ministry leaders always have big visions and great dreams.  We have big hearts.  We love God.  But so often we get stuck in these cycles, repeating the same conversations and same programs over and over.  Even though we feel like we need change, we usually get stuck with continuity (or change in an undesireable direction).

We talked a lot about this in our Area Director Training.  And here's one great idea ...

If you want change, you need to create urgency.

I first heard this idea from John Kotter's model in Leading Change, where he says that the first thing a change agent needs to do is establish a sense of urgency.  Last summer, I heard Bill Hybels put it this way in his talk at the 2010 Leadership Summit: "The first play is not to make 'there' sound wonderful. The first play is to make 'here' sound awful."

We often neglect this step, feeling excited about our vision or fearing to be viewed as manipulative.  None of us want to manipulate.

Someone smarter than me should think through that fine line between leadership and manipulation (anyone want to Guest Post?).  All I'll say here is that when you communicate honestly and transparently, people tend to feel moved, not manipulated.

In Acts 2, God and Peter created a sense of urgency in the crowd.  People gathered to Jerusalem from all over the world found themselves saying "What shall we do?" as Peter talked about the resurrection of Jesus and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.  Staying put didn't feel like an option.  Waiting didn't feel like an option.

Where have you seen someone master the art of creating urgency?

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