I learned that my approach to changing my ministry context was backwards; it only took seven years of being in ministry :)
This is the process of leading change poorly that I started out using:1. I would see something that frustrated me and complain "up" to my leader. Even if my leader was sympathetic there was not much that they could do.
2. I would then go back to the situation that frustrated me and beat my head against a wall trying to get them change.
3. I would finally give up and begin investing in someone younger or more teachable than my current group. At this point I would see significant traction and change.
Wash, rinse, and repeat for six years :)
Now I have learned a better way:
1. Something or someone in my current role would stir my heart to see something changed on a wider scale. I then look for someone "below" me that is either gifted or passionate about the same thing, and start to invest time in them.
2. Based on the receptivity of the current person or group, I would then start to delegate more roles or responsibilities away from the current group and toward the more open person or group.
3. After seeing some significant and measurable change I would then share those with my leader, and potentially offer some suggestions about how to scale the changes I've seen to a broader part of the ministry.
It seems like it's common to go up, sideways, and down rather than down, sideways and up when seeking to lead change. Anyone have any insights as to why? Have you experienced either one of these yourself?