(See the previous blog to contextualize this blog) The first and most important principle of change is acknowledging YOUR role in change. It is so quick to want to point figures and blame others… leaders who can’t lead and teachers who can’t teach… but the bottom line is that we EACH need to pray about how God wants to use US to further his cause.
What did almost every major Bible character have in common? … Their ability to confront their leaders!!! So much of the Bible is about the wrong directions of our leaders and the people’s or person’s ability to confront them and to change course. And then the Bible stories continue as many of these prophetic workers/slaves/common men successfully invoke “change” in their people... and these great characters having once been one of their people, then often lead their people. Somehow we feel that we need to remain silent and submissive… but there are actually very few examples of this… Bible characters are actually constantly confronting leaders about the least of these, fruits of the Spirit, oppression, protecting His Kingdome, on and on...
A teacher recently came to me about this… how do I get my school and/or principal to change? And my first advice is to not get fired. :) How will anyone be used for his purpose if they are fired? But my pastor recently helped me with this area in telling me to pray and spend some time in the Old Testament thinking about the many prophets and workers that approached their leaders. What does the situation call for? An Esther, Nehemiah, or Obadiah? Are you to wait patiently to be seen with favor or to hide and protect great “prophets” who will eventually take lead and further His cause. Find your role, and realize that eventually you must take a stand and not hide or sit on the sidelines as to not be called out by God as he did Elijah… “why are you here?” … in this cave… not doing my work.
For real change, give ALL your people a voice. So many Christian organizations believe in our Conservative ideals of Freedom, Democracy, the voice of many people making us strong. (a belief which I too greatly hold… just to be clear… and many Christian organizations do this because we know Christ is truly found in freedom and not in government or rules). We also are all too familiar with the importance of the body of Christ and the many important parts of His work… with none of us thinking higher of ourselves than we ought to think.
Yet, while believing in these great principles, teaching these great principles to our students - many of our Christian schools and organizations are run more like dictatorships… not allowing the voice, strength and will of our people. So then we announce something like – we WILL have open enrollment to include struggling students or unsaved students… we wonder why our teachers do not “buy into” the concept.
So the first principle of change is quite simple – WE!!!! :) We the People must be PART of the vision, the implementation, and the change. Not waiting on THEM to make it happen OR blaming the THEM for it not happening.