About 10 years ago my wife and I were driving through Houston, Texas during rush hour when I realized that I could jump over into the High Occupancy Vehicle (H.O.V.) and miss most of the congestion. It was wonderful! Passing all of those other vehicles snarled in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
As we cruised by our fellow drivers, my wife and I began talking about the H.O.V. lane as a descriptive analogy of growing churches in America. Why do churches get “stuck in traffic?” What would a church have to do to move into the H.O.V. lane?
After a little research, I was able to make two basic observations about the requirements for moving into the H.O.V. lane:
1. you may not enter the lane alone; and
2. you must stay in the lane until you have reached your destination.
Can we apply these observations to a church?
(1) you cannot go there alone – Moving a church off of a spiritual plateau or out of a numerical decline is not easy. You cannot do it alone. You need the Lord and His supernatural guidance and power. You also need a team of faithful brothers and sisters who will make the move with you.
(2) you must stay for the entire journey – If you begin leading change in your church so that it can become a “High Occupancy Vehicle” for the Kingdom, you must also stay the course until you arrive at your destination. Except for times of true revival when God speeds up the clock, time and tenure are critical requirements for successful change.
In addition, I never talk about leading change in a church without making it clear that you are not changing a program or an organization: you are leading a change of heart in the people you serve.
People can tell the difference too.