Integrating Change Models and the Theology of Leadership
A sentiment common to almost any organization is that the one fact that remains constant is change. As society changes, and human understanding grows, any organization that maintains a static posture, assures its demise. Churches and Christian organizations are no exception. The gospel may remain the same, but the method for communicating it must speak to the audience to assure understanding. The Christian leader must be prepared to meet this challenge by incorporating an effective model for change into his theology of leadership in order to keep the ministry relevant and effective. Searching for such a change agent can prove to be challenging as well. To aid in this search, four different contemporary change models were selected, and an evaluation of these models yielded those with the most suitable strategies to be coupled with a leader’s theology of leadership in preparation for effective leadership.
Analysis of Contemporary Change Models
Initiating meaningful change in any organization can be difficult in the best of circumstances. In order for any ministry leader to attempt improvement to a ministry structure, establishing the need for a shift in direction is necessary to accomplish the desired goal. The change model used by the leader must also fit his theology of leadership. An analysis of four change models revealed telling characteristics of each, presenting their possible suitability.
Kotter’s Leading Change Model presented a process of eight steps for organizational transformation (Kotter, 2007). These steps include: urgency established, coalition development, vision creation, vision casting, vision action empowerment, creation of short-term wins, consolidation of improvements, and normalizing new behaviors (Kotter, 2007). As the leadership moves through these steps, the team members responsible for carrying out the plan rely on consistent communication and coordination. Dissemination of this information is crucial for implementing and sustaining change, and can take the shape of newsletters, websites, conferences, and any other form of media to effectively communicate the success of the process (Appelbaum et al., 2012).
The Breakthrough Innovation Framework, or BrinnovationTM, incorporates Kotter’s Leading Change model, while emphasizing a framework of innovation (Gupta, 2011). The Brinnovation framework accentuates the abilities and talents of those in the system, with its success depending on a change in the organization’s culture to embrace innovation (Gupta, 2011). The leadership can achieve a transformation in organizational thinking by applying Kotter’s eight-step plan, focusing on creativity (Gupta, 2011).
The General Systems Theory (GST) came about as an effort to describe the systems approach, born from the biological concept of the organism developed in the first part of the 20th century (Von Bertalanffy, 1972). In contrast to the mechanistic systems which are...