Neophobia

Today’s Alban Institute blog post talks about congregations that fear change. The post begins by posing this question: “My congregation has never been very good with change. Whenever a new idea is proposed, it is quickly shot down with the phrase, ‘that isn’t how we do things here.’ … New and younger members … can’t move into any leadership positions. They become discouraged and leave. Or, if they do get involved in a program or a committee, their ideas are always shot down. Is my church the only one that experiences this dynamic? How do other churches deal with change?”

Why yes, Virginia, many other congregations experience this dynamic. (In fact, so many U.S. congregations have become so resistant to necessary change that I suspect it’s one of the factors contributing to the rise of the “nones,” those people who report no religious affiliation on nationwide polls — younger people don’t want to belong to congregations that are mired in the past.) And if you want to promote a healthy attitude towards change in your congregation, you should read the post by clicking here.

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