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Episode Info: There is a place where any great opportunity for change can die. It's a no man's land, a wilderness, filled with temptations and riddled with the bones of past failures.  How do you avoid such? Today, we cover just that. So about four episodes back, episode number 22, we started looking at how to lead change. At, first we considered two simple questions that will help your board or congregation consider changes. Then we began to look at Dr. William Bridges ideas on change and transition. Dr. Bridges, in his book, Managing Transitions, teaches that all changes go through three stages of transition – An ending, the neutral zone, and the new beginning. If this is the first episode you are listening to on change leadership, I suggest you go back to episode 22 and work up to this one. In episode 24 we finished our work on how to end something. Today we will look at that phase between ending the old thing and starting the new – the area called the neutral zone. I do not know anything about Dr. Bridges spiritual background. But in his book, Managing Transitions, he does use the Exodus as an example of these three phases. You know the story – The Jews leave Egypt. They Jews wander in the wilderness for 40 years. The Jews cross over the river Jordan and begin a new thing in the land of promise. There was an ending, and eventually a beginning. But in the middle, those 40 years of wandering, we find the neutral zone. There are some changes that do not require a neutral zone. You want to change the carpets. You go to Carpet World, pick a color, set up the install date, and step back. A few weeks later you have new carpet. Some changes though require much more. They require a great deal of thought and work before you start something new. And managing the handover, the neutral zone, is essential. I will give you 4 things you must do while you are in the neutral zone, before you start the new thing. I also, want to share some cautions, things you must be aware of as you wander through the neutral zone. And I will share these cautions first. Here are 3 cautions, warnings, about the time between ending something and starting something new. People are more apt to leave during this period of time. Dr. Bridges shares that in the business world during the period of time between the old thing and the new, employees are more apt to quit, come in late, or miss more time. In the church world, I suspect that people are more apt to leave.  Why is that? The familiar is now gone, but nothing new is in its place. They feel like nothing is happening. They sense a lull in the action or movement of the church. So they leave. In a few minutes, when I go through the 4 things you must do during the period, pay much attention to the idea of presenting the vision. The reason you must present the vision of this change is to keep people engaged, in place, and focused on the near future. There will be a strong pull to return back to what you had before. Remember, the Exodus. Aft...
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