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Why We Need Change

I have a number of Apple products in my home, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be an Apple fanboy. I didn’t run out and purchase an iPad when they first came out. I prefer Google apps over Apple apps. That said, I still believe Apple offers incredible products and solutions.

With that in mind, it’s been interesting to watch the reaction of diehard Apple fans in the last week after they released the new Final Cut Pro X — it’s the software they sell for video editing. I’ve never used Final Cut, so I know absolutely nothing about the software. Folks that have used the software in the past, though, are in an uproar about the new release.

The situation is a good reminder that no matter how much your fans love you, they don’t like change. The crazy thing is Apple has proven time and time again how important change is to an organization. They’ve changed their product lineup and focus. After products are released, they routinely make changes to improve their performance. Apple wouldn’t be what it is today if it didn’t embrace change…even though people don’t like change.

I thought this was an interesting quote from TechCrunch writer MG Siegler in today’s article:

“And perhaps it’s extra infuriating for some because it’s almost like these companies don’t even think twice about making such changes. And the harsh truth is that they shouldn’t. When you start to second guess yourself and let the masses dictate your product decisions, you’re done.”

That’s a powerful insight. And believe it or not, it’s consistent with what Jesus taught. People haven’t liked change for a couple thousand years. Check this out:

One day some people said to Jesus, “John the Baptist’s disciples fast and pray regularly, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why are your disciples always eating and drinking?”

Jesus responded, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Then Jesus gave them this illustration: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t even match the old garment.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.” (Luke 5:33-39)

Willingness to embrace change is a key difference between great organizations (including churches) and those that are willing to settle for mediocrity and eventually become obsolete. You may think you’re doing people a favor by keeping things the same to keep people happy, but many times, what’s comfortable isn’t what’s healthy.

Organizations need to change. Relationships need to change. People need to change. We hate change, but we need to change.  

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Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.