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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Responding To Change

Effective leadership responds to change!

My mother-in-law is 97. Conversations around the table quickly reveal her resistance to change. She lives with a nostalgic longing for things to be like they were when she was in her twenties or thirties. But they’re not!

Her world has radically changed in the last 60 to 70 years. As attractive as her memories of the past are, memories can cloud reality and inhibit opportunity.

We’re tempted to see things the way we want to see them.

As a Christian leader, the “glory days” of the past can be very alluring. Believing the past is better than the present is a seduction that often keeps us from responding to the opportunities created by our changing world.

This is nothing new!

The Israelites quickly forgot their sufferings in Egypt when changes created by their emancipation presented new challenges:

“…If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3).

It’s tempting to forget the adversity of the past when faced with new challenges of the present!

However, effective leadership responds to the difficulties encountered with change. They recognize: Because God is with us, what’s before us is better than what’s behind us!

Here’s the reality: Like it or not, change happens. And, it will continue to take place.

How we respond to change will have a significant influence on others. There’s no question: Leading in a constant, changing world requires courage.

Moses opted to lead with God, rather than by himself. Failure to stay intimately connected to God in a changing world will cause even the stout-hearted to see our past “Egypt” as attractive!

The Apostle Paul understood how essential it is to remain connected to God while living in an ever-changing world:

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

You can’t stop change. You can’t return to the past. But, you can remain connected to God who graces us with the courage to respond to the opportunities that change provides.

Failure to do so will only impede our ability to lead responsibly in an ever-changing world.

I’d love to hear of some of the ways you practice to stay connected with God.

Praying for you today!

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