Trying to change something that is moving is hard, especially if it has been moving for a period of time. With physical objects, momentum makes change difficult. Objects tend to stay moving in the direction they are already moving in. With communities, formal and otherwise, the direction people are moving in becomes part of their DNA. You can see it in habits, patterns, and culture.
As one involved in change and transformation, I often catch myself reflecting on the challenges of trying to help others change. It is not easy. Starting fresh, especially starting in a new place with a small team, is a lot easier than trying to be a catalyst of change with a community that is large and established. Life keeps reminding me that there are mantras that are helpful if one is committed to helping making a difference.
If one wants ensure change occurs, one must start with the individuals in the present. It is possible to tear down and rebuild. If this is the course of action, all production, progress, and moment will stop first. There will be a moment of quietness before the new can take root and grow. If one wants to keep production alive, then David’s description of God’s approach is required; “He gives the rejects his hand, and leads them step-by-step.” (Psalm 25.9)
Transformation change is rarely revolutionary. Transformation requires openness with the heart to take small steps, evolving and morphing as it goes along. This does not mean change must be slow, however it does mean that one must be emotionally involved if change is going to happen.
Change and transformation take time. When it is embedded in the small details of our life, it grows in ways that open one heart to greater possibilities and visions.
Even as I write, I realize that while all of is this good to remember, there is a key ingredient that is required before any change begins. One must be willing. Individually and corporately, willingness is the key that opens the door. Without it, everything else is meaningless.