Many times in the leading of an organization, we come to points where we realize that things need to change.
Maybe we lost what we originally had. Maybe we went down a wrong path. Or, maybe things changed over time and there was a need to get back on track.
Regardless of the reasons surrounding the need for change, we know that change must happen.
The difficult thing about change is that people will be affected. People will get hurt. People will not like everything that happens.
And that’s okay!
In the Bible, there’s a story found in the book of 2 Kings, chapter 23. King Josiah realized that the nation of Israel had strayed far from God and came to the understanding that some huge changes needed to be made.
Here are some select verses from that chapter:
Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the Temple gatekeepers to remove from the Lord ’s Temple all the articles that were used to worship Baal, Asherah, and all the powers of the heavens. The king had all these things burned outside Jerusalem on the terraces of the Kidron Valley, and he carried the ashes away to Bethel. He did away with the idolatrous priests, who had been appointed by the previous kings of Judah, for they had offered sacrifices at the pagan shrines throughout Judah and even in the vicinity of Jerusalem. They had also offered sacrifices to Baal, and to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and to all the powers of the heavens. He also tore down the living quarters of the male and female shrine prostitutes that were inside the Temple of the Lord , where the women wove coverings for the Asherah pole.
A whole bunch of woodworkers, prostitutes, and priests were put out of business. Now, I’m sure many of you would agree that some of that was a good thing!
The reality remains. When change happens, there are difficult decisions to be made that will lead to dissatisfaction among certain people.
That is simply the reality of the situation. We must change, or we will die.
But, even in the midst of change, there is at least one more thing we must take into consideration. In that same chapter, but in verse nine, the author states this:
The priests who had served at the pagan shrines were not allowed to serve at the Lord ’s altar in Jerusalem, but they were allowed to eat unleavened bread with the other priests.
Compassion. Help. Care. Love.
Josiah was fully within his rights to kick out all the priests (who worshipped other gods), but he brought them to Jerusalem and made sure that their most basic needs were taken care of. After all, priests could not work other jobs, so they had no other way to make money legitimately.
Must change continue in our organizations? Yes! Will change be difficult? Absolutely! Should we show compassion and care for those who are affected by change? Totally!
Have you navigated change in the past? What other lessons have you learned in the process?