To resist change is to resist growth

  • Friday, July 11, 2014

A pastor once shared with a group of us the difficulty he was having getting his church to implement some much-needed changes. Many church members did not believe in doing anything different from the way it was always done.

One lady reprimanded him. She reminded him that the bible says God never changes and so she will never change.

Unfortunately that is the attitude many people have when it comes to change, and they will use any and every argument they can find to justify their position.

I shared a while ago some of the reasons why people resist change. It is my hope that when you learn some of the reasons why people say no to change you can better identify why the people around you are resistant to change and you can help them overcome their resistance; especially when you know it will benefit them greatly.

People resist change because the possible rewards that they will gain donít seem to merit the effort they will have to expend. Change takes extra effort, especially at first, but if the people who are required to change do not see where they will benefit significantly from the extra effort they will be unwilling to make the change.

Many people have a ďWhatís in it for me?Ē mentality.

That is not necessarily bad. If there is no advantage to changing why should people change? Some people make changes just for change sake. Those of us who lead and require others to make changes or be involved in a change process should be prepared to state the benefits of making such a change.

Next, when people are satisfied with the way things are they will be reluctant to change. There might be plenty of room for improvement as things stand today. There might be a lot more to gain if we make some changes and do things a little differently from how we are doing them now. All of that may be true but if people are satisfied with the way it is now, it will be a challenge to get them to make changes.

The challenge for the leader or the change agent is to communicate to the resistors of change and the entire team a vision of how much better things can be, so they feel a certain degree of dissatisfaction.

No matter how good something is it can be better. No matter how much you have grown or improved, there is still room for improvement. Thatís why some people are better than others or outperform others. They are never satisfied. They seek change and they embrace change. But, it is only fair that I warn you that there are some change killers out there.

ďNegative NedĒ can always find a reason why we shouldnít change anything and everything should remain as it is. Negative Nedís philosophy can be summed up by these words, which the author of a book I read some time ago saw on a sign in an office building.

Donít look, you might see

Donít listen, you might hear Donít think, you might learn

Donít make a decision, you might be wrong

Donít walk, you might stumble

Donít run, you might fall

Donít live, you might die

Donít change, you might grow

To resist change is to resist growth.

The Rev. Dr. Valentine Williams is a pastor and inspirational speaker. He also conducts seminars and workshops related to Christian growth and development and is an avid student of Apologetics. Contact him at valmyval@yahoo.com.

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