Making Changes As A New Leader

As many of you know, I began a new leadership position a week or so ago as the Lead Pastor of the Potters House Church in Smithland, Kentucky. It has been an exciting challenge and I am looking forward to years of ministry here. God has blessed me through it and I hope to be a blessing to the people of the church as well.

People keep asking me what I’m going to change. It is probably the most often asked question thus far. It seems to be asked out of both excitement and fear… some looking forward to areas of perceived and hopeful progress, others concerned that there may be a chance that they could lose something they love.

I’ve taken the stance of watching, waiting and then winning. Here is what I mean…

Change can bring great improvement, great excitement and great victory. Or… change can bring great pain, great loss and great brokenness.

Some leaders make changes to show their power. They look around at all they have the authority to change and try to show their strength and courage in what they are willing to change… and who they are willing to frustrate in the process.

Those leaders do not usually ‘win’ in their changes.

They may get what they wanted, but they don’t usually get what was best.

So here is my process.


My eyes are wide open. My ears are attuned. My heart is flexible. And my mind isn’t yet made up. I’m just watching.

I’m watching for heart, attitude and motivation on the part of our people. For the most part, I have seen beautiful things. I have also noticed that, as usual, there are places that will need repentance, change of heart and attitude adjustment. But as a whole, this is a very spiritually healthy church.

I am also watching for spiritual fruit. What works? What doesn’t honestly work? I’m not using other church’s numbers, experiences and decisions just yet. I’m watching for the honest reality of what is effective in this ministry. And I’m trying to understand why.

I’m just watching.

I”m keeping notes. Making memories. And learning to trust certain people and ministry styles based upon their history of effectiveness and spiritual fruit.


As I notice necessary changes… I am keeping track. I am beginning to paint a picture in my mind. “This might work. That might not be good. What if we changed that? Oh that’s not right!” These are the kinds of sentences rolling through my brain as I talk to God and listen to His voice.

While I wait, not yet acting on any change, I will also share some thoughts and listen for response from primary leaders, influences and ‘elders’ of the church. I want to understand their thoughts. I want to hear their voice. I need to look for God’s direction in their experiences, past and present.

It may take a while, but it is worth the wait. And will help to build a future of church growth, spiritual renewal & recaptured hope.


As things develop, they will begin to build passion and excitement in me. They will begin to capture the hearts of those primary leaders, influencers and ‘elders.’ Over time, not too long in the future, I will able to articulate and share a vision, strategy and plan for progress at the Potters House Church.

It will be compelling, exciting and, if I do a good job with it, should bring a huge sense of unity to the church.

Now make no mistake, clear VISION both unites and separates people. The best way to have a big crowd where everyone is somewhat happy is to have an unclear vision where everyone can assume it is what they are hoping to see… (But this is ultimately not good.)

The best way to follow Christ and do genuine ministry is to hear from God, hear from His people and articulate a clear and focused vision for the future.

This may send some away in the end. But it will draw far more. You see, clear vision is compelling. Clear vision is exciting. Clear vision leads well. It motivates, encourages and calls to commitment. Clear vision wins.

There is a clear vision in our future as a church. We aren’t there yet, but we will be soon. Just wait and see.

God will win as He leads us in great ministry in Western Kentucky.