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4 Reasons Your Church Won't Change

Change is hard. Changing a church or ministry is even harder – sometimes, nearly impossible.  

And yet, we all know that in today’s world of disruptive, 24/7 change, responding well is critical to our success. Jesus chastised the religious leaders of his day because they couldn’t read the signs of the times. And yet, today those signs seem to be rushing faster than ever.  

As you struggle with your leadership team, employees, donors, or members of your congregation to try to shift their thinking – and before you jump out a window in frustration – it’s good to have a reminder of the reasons people work so hard to resist change.  

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Figure out which of these applies to you and how to overcome it, and you’ll be well on your way to seeing the birth of a transformed organization.  

Here are four key reasons people resist change:

1. Self-Interest.  

Change is an unfair imposition on their territory. Silos and walls happen, and people want to control their turf. They need to exert control over their immediate surroundings and want to feel that they have a say in their own future.  

Like it or not, we human beings are territorial and want some sense of power.

2.  Misunderstanding or a Lack of Trust.  

What people don’t understand, they will resist. Just because you see why you need to change doesn’t mean they will.  

Realize that you have knowledge they don’t have, so make sure you’re helping them understand all the issues and options.

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles (CookeMediaGroup.com) where his team helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively through media. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."