When it comes to church change, status quo is the easiest place to be. Whether you are thinking about the weekly schedule, or the leadership structure, or the format of services, or the approach to the pulpit ministry of the church (schedule, planning, training, preacher selection, etc.), whatever area of church life you are thinking about, status quo is the comfort zone extraordinaire.
In many cases we won’t try to think creatively until a crisis occurs. People start leaving. The church splits. “Terminal decline” becomes a whispered term. Arresting the downward trend of a church is much, much harder than taking the time (and sometimes having the courage) to strategically think things through while the present doesn’t scream for it to be fixed.
So why not blank sheet sooner? As an individual, as a leadership team, and perhaps even as a church (tread very sensitively, the most immature will typically cling the tightest to certain local traditions, scream the loudest and dominate any attempted discussions if you are not very careful in how you handle this). What is church? What is the purpose? Why do we meet? What should be included? How should it be organized?
Just because something would be better, doesn’t mean it is wise to instantly implement every possible change. Managing change is a complex process that will keep us on our knees and sometimes be heart-breakingly frustrating. But there is value to taking a blank sheet and prayerfully dreaming about what could be and perhaps what should be. How to get there from here is for another post, but there is value in evaluating strategically.