Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mission, Vision, Position & Transition

The last eighteen months have been filled with change at PCC. We have grown - new people, new faces, new talent, new leaders, and new ministries. We’ve had to adapt and adjust ourselves to change. There are new policies, new procedures, and new protocols. We’ve lost people, gained new people, maintained most people. Indeed, it has been a time of transition.

Transition also means that roles change, personnel are reassigned, staff members are given new responsibilities, and volunteers are moved into positions they are better suited for. That even includes the role of the pastor. There are some things I have had to let go of allowing others to carry out those tasks.

Transitions are never easy and I’d be less than truthful if I said the changes have been easy for me, because they haven’t been. I understand that PCC is not about me and I have made some major adjustments in my role to allow our church to continue to fulfill our mission and vision and reach more people for Christ.

We are already seeing the fruit of these changes. The stories of life-change are incredible - and the numbers do not lie.

I have made some observations during this transitional period – and boy, has it ever been an eye-opener for me! How well a person can handle change really boils down to WHAT THEY LOVE THE MOST – their POSITION “in” the church or the MISSION “of” the church. There is a huge difference between the two.

Those who LOVE THE POSITION they hold at PCC don’t make it through seasons of change. When a person loves their position more than the mission, he/she loses sight of the BIG PICTURE and can’t see how the church (as a whole) is improved by the changes being made. All you can see is YOUR desires, YOUR ideas, YOUR expectations, and what YOU want. All you can see is YOUR ministry, YOUR corner of the church, and YOUR department. You CAN’T SEE how the church might actually be better off doing it another way or by making these changes. You can’t see that someone else might do the job better than you. When you love the position more than the mission YOU TAKE IT PERSONALLY WHEN ASKED TO CHANGE. Instead of seeing the big picture, you feel like you are being punished or marginalized.

On the other hand, when you LOVE THE VISION more than the position you can adapt to change for the betterment of the whole. When you understand that the MISSION OF THE CHURCH (i.e., The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20) is GREATER THAN YOU, you could care less about being reassigned or asked to do things differently. When you love the mission/vision of a church all you really care about is seeing the lost come to Christ and maturing in the knowledge of God. Whether that means being a door greeter, parking lot attendant, having to share the building with other groups, or bending in the direction of the senior leadership, you are willing to follow because you know it’s not about you but ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE and SERVING GOD in a Christ-exalting manner.

We have people at PCC right now who are very flexible and adapt easily to change. They have served in multiple capacities and several different ministries. They have been reassigned. Their role has been changed. They adapt because they just want to be part of the big picture – whatever that role is.

We have also had people who want to be in the “cool” positions, close to the pastor, and love being “in charge.” Give them every thing they want every time they ask for it and they’re happy. But when asked to change JUST ONCE, they pout and head for the horizon.

A church cannot be healthy if it is full of people who love position over mission. I have watched over the last eighteen months and observed these changes and the people affected by them. The journey got to some. But for those humble servants who cheerfully serve at PCC – they are maturing and becoming more Christ-like every day. I COULD NOT BE PROUDER of the people of PCC as I am right now.

For every person who has loved their position most, fifty others have loved the mission most.

That’s why PCC is so spiritually healthy right now.

And that’s also why GOD IS MOVING at PCC.