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Climate Changers: Lesson 3 – How Strongly is the wind blowing?


It’s almost impossible to initiate planned change from within an organization without the necessary authority.  In times past, positions carried more authority than they do today.  The authority once given to elected officials is decreasing.  There’s a shift today from bestowed authority to earned authority.  One of the mistakes leaders make is believing a great idea or a brilliant plan will automatically carry authority based on its own merit.


  1. Believing that good idea will sell themselves.  Authority usually rests in organizations or individuals, not in ideas.  Every proposal for change must have a support group.  While every member may have a vote, some votes count more than others.
  2. Believing each leader has equal authority.  Leaders needless authority to maintain the status quo than to make changes.  It takes more authority to make big changes than to make small ones.
  3. Believing leaders are helpless victims of circumstances.  It’s wise to affirm the wisdom of change from several different sources.  This is true because, while some people may reject authority from one source, they may receive it from another.


  1. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  It’s wise for the leader to seek the support of several different sources of authority.
  2. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.  Use the gifts which God has given your leadership team.  Build your leadership around their gifts.
  3. Knowledge is the greatest single source of authority.  Learn everything possible about the necessary change.  Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.  Learn from those who have gone through similar experiences.
  4. Productive hard work gives you more authority.  The person who has accomplished something has more authority than the person who has just talked about it.  Products are more impressive than promises.
  5. The person who can provide the money has authority.  Everything costs money, and without the resources, every plan will fail.
  6. Use a widely perceived crisis.  For this to be effective, it must be widely recognized.  A crisis changes the rules.  When people realize they’re in a crisis situation, they know something must be done.  You must convince people there’s a problem before they will be willing to pay the price to fix it.


  1. The size of your congregation.  Smaller congregations usually don’t empower their leaders.
  2. The length of your tenure.  Every change costs something.  The longer you have successfully led a church, the more chance you will have collected to purchase the next change.
  3. Your age and experience.  Young leaders haven’t paid the price of leadership.  Because they’re untested, their followers aren’t as ready to give them authority.
  4. A combination of knowledge, hard work, and trustworthiness.  These are qualities of good leadership.  People are watching to see if your words match your actions.  They will trust you more when they see good leadership displayed in your life.
  5. Your personal character.  People are watching to see if your walk matches your talk.  When your personal life is filled with the fruit of the Spirit, people will have more respect for you.
  6. A combination of leadership skills, spiritual gifts, and vision.  Good leadership isn’t an accident.  Spiritual leaders must add the spiritual dynamic to their portfolio.  There must be the touch of God’s favor for a spiritual leader’s life to have authority. 

The Law of Process is one of the most important for leaders to understand.  Leaders have the advantage of experiencing things their followers haven’t.  Because of their experiences, leaders are convinced change is beneficial and think their people will reach the same conclusions.  Acts 7:25  Assuming your followers understand what you believe to be true is a deadly mistake.  Take whatever time is necessary to build your authority before attempting to make major changes in your church.  God wisely gives us nine months to prepare for the birth of a new baby before our responsibilities as new parents begin.

Take the time necessary to prepare your people for a change!

Lessons in the series How To Grow A Church

Climate Changers lesson 1

Download Resources for the series

Climate Changers
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