When what used to work is no longer working: It’s not your fault

By Peggy Hahn

LEAD Logo with taglineIf it sounds like I am trying to make you feel better, it’s because I am. But this is also an invitation.

Five years ago, I would park my car at the airport when traveling. Today I take a Lyft and save the money. Ten years ago, I was a late adopter on Facebook. Today I like, learn and get liked constantly. Fifteen years ago, I was learning to Skype. Today I use Zoom at least once a day.

Of course, things have changed. It’s obvious. It makes sense. But what do you do when what used to work is no longer working?

You observe. You interpret. You experiment. This is the practice of adaptive leadership.

In our work with LEAD, we see an appreciable increase in success when congregations do this together. We call these groups of congregations “learning cohorts” – and the learning is more likely to happen across congregations than it is from any expert in the room. You know more than you realize and the energy we spend doing what we have always done is wearing us out. We can have the courage to lead new things in new ways – when we do it together.

I want to personally encourage you to come to the Summit. Bring a team or come alone. You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right? So rather than feeling grumpy or frustrated or taking it personally, join others in trying to figure out what it means to be Lutheran Christians in this crazy world. We have giant gifts to offer and we need each other to figure this out.

You have two choices at the Summit:

  1. Commit to the Journey by bringing your team. Join a new learning cohort launching this March. Together we will follow Christ’s lead by listening deeply, reclaiming our congregation’s purpose, shifting our decision-making systems and expanding our comfort zone.
  2. Come curious, to ask questions and check it out. Then, if you feel this is right for your congregation, bring a team in the fall.

Congregations in the Coastal Bay Cohort and the Crisis to Mission Cohort will be there too. Camp Hope Day Camp training will be happening. Don’t miss this chance to be church together and to get to know people in our synod.

The one truth about this time in our history as Christians is this: The Holy Spirit is doing a new thing and we are trying to catch up.