Change the Formula

Yesterday I was asked to come to a seniors event and congratulate our pastor of senior adults for his 42 years of full-time ministry.  As I sat through their order-of-service, I felt like I had slipped through a time warp and found myself in 1953.

I then wondered what they must feel like with the changes we put upon them each year.  As we contextualize with the culture each season, I will admit, we have the younger generation in mind, rarely thinking about the “elders” of our community.

As I don’t think we can ever have them fully committed to any of our changes, we do need to create “points of stability” with each shift, maybe answering questions like:  1) Are we disregarding the senior adult population with this decision? 2) When we bring upon change, can we bring it adapted to everyone?

In her book, Say No, Say Yes to Change, Elaine Dickson stresses that at the heart of change is sound decision-making skills.  She also notes that true change is creating something that is self-maintaining.  If it is something that is only a temporary modification, than that is still a part of the status quo.

Dickson summarizes change into one simple formula.  And as I like Dickson’s formula I am always cautious with the words “simple” and “formula” when discussing change.  So here is her formula:


A: A significant level of dissatisfaction with some condition which presently exists.

B: An awareness of an alternative better condition that exists.

C: The knowledge of the first step(s) to take in changing to the better condition.

D: The cost of making change.

But this is just one woman’s formula for change.  If you were to create a change formula, what would yours look like?  Would it look any different with the older generation in mind?


~ by Dave Smith on June 20, 2009.

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