Communicating change

Adam Hamilton is the rock star United Methodist pastor of Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City. A few weeks ago he talked about the church’s vision for a new sanctuary. Now many pastors hope to get through their entire careers without facing the huge challenge of new worship space. This is Adam’s fourth sanctuary on the current site.

If you have an extra 40 minutes, I invite you to watch this entire video. It’s worth it.  I know, I know, the plan to build a $90 million, 3,500 seat sanctuary isn’t something that most of us will worry about any time soon.  But there are some great lessons for all of us to learn.

See the video here.

As I watched it, I was impressed with how skillfully he talked about the change.

At the 16:10 point in the video he makes a very strong argument about the need for change.  How would most churches make this argument?  Adam does it with a very strong mission conversation about a woman from outside the church and what her odyssey could be like when attending a grief program.  I’ve been to his campus, and I can tell you that I agree with everything he says about how difficult the church can be to navigate.

At 27:15 he gives interesting information about keeping the entire congregation within 100 feet of the altar.  When I visited there we sat in the back and sure enough we felt disconnected from what was happening in the front.  They can get 3,500 seats that close.

I was most interested to hear that most of the discussion was, again, missional.  At this point anyway there is no discussion about the color of the paint on the walls or the location of the light switches.  No kidding, a guy I was in college with reported being chair of his church’s Building Committee and they spent an entire 2-hour meeting discussing switch location.

When you have the time, I do recommend watching the entire video (or at least starting at 10:30 when his sermon moves to this topic.  It’s a great reminder that all of our change discussions should be about mission.


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