Sunday, October 08, 2006

change maths

One thing the licensing service got me thinking about more was managing expectations - people already have some kind of idea of what I'll be doing, some closer to the mark than others (and I don't even know for sure myself - Archdeacon Peter said 'David will be helping us to wing it' - what a great commissioning for ministry!)

Managing expecations is 1 thing, encouraging and leading change is another. I've been trying to work out the equation for change, I'm sure someone else has done this before. The variables might be:

f = frustration
h = hope
c = change

f x h = c

you need f for people to want c, but if there is no h, people's frustration can turn to depression or violence (e.g. terrorism). E.g. Berlin wall and the collapse of communism. F had been high for decades, but once one regime loosened up (I think it was Hungary), h rose that other regimes would do the same, and the combination of f and h led to c.

In some churches the challenge will be to raise f (where people are content with the status quo), in others to raise f, in others to think about the possibility of c ("how many Anglicans does it take to change a light bulb - what do you mean 'change'?").

I wonder if there are other variables?

and where does celebrating the present come in? Does celebrating what is good now inhibit change, or energise people for it?

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