How to Start Leading Change

John Kotter published Leading Change in 1996. Time Magazine has listed it among the 25 most influential leadership books. Here are his eight steps:

  1. Create a sense of urgency. ...
  2. Create a guiding coalition. ...
  3. Create a vision for change. ...
  4. Communicate the vision. ...
  5. Remove obstacles. ...
  6. Create short-term wins. ...
  7. Consolidate improvements. ...
  8. Anchor the changes.

More on Kotter’s strategy for leading change can be found at:


How do we start leading change as Christian leaders?

Thom Rainer builds upon Kotter’s strategy in his short to-the-point book on leading change in the church. I want to highlight Thom Rainer’s point that as Christian leaders we should first, stop, and pray. Rainer refers to the example of Nehemiah in Who Moved My Pulpit?


Nehemiah's Prays

As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4) 

As Christian leaders we are first and foremost followers of Christ. We are empowered by the Spirit of Christ and have the Word of God. Leaders in general can attest to the fact that leading change is a challenge. But, as Christian leaders we also must recognize that we are engaged in a spiritual battle.


Pray for Wisdom

“Praying for wisdom means you are asking God to lead you through the unknown future.” (Rainer, Who Moved My Pulpit?, 37)


Pray for Courage

As we pray for wisdom, we also have to recognize that change can be hard, change can be unpopular, change can be scary, but if change is the wise path - pray for courage to change.


Pray for Strength

“Effective changed leadership in the church will not take place in human power; it can only come from God.” (Rainer, Who Moved My Pulpit?, 41)

The Lord desires our dependence upon Him. The Lord warns us that the work that we are called to do is a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20).

So the way to start leading change is to actually stop…stop and pray.


Your brother in Jesus,

Brian Autry