By Mark Kurtz
Every student who has entered the doors of an institution of higher learning in the last three decades has been introduced to a thought process called change Management. This process, taught in business management and other academic disciplines, is a direct result of the post modern environment in which we live. Businessmen in the secular world have a good understanding of what Change Management is all about. With the advancement of technology and logistics, the world has become a much larger territory for most every business, while shrinking the distance between each of these businesses. This requires competition and strategy to evolve at an unprecedented pace in the history of mankind. Our society’s culture is in continual change and movement.
By definition, Change Management is “the process, tools, and techniques to manage the ‘people-side’ of change to achieve the required business outcome.” (Creasey, 2013) With every change in this world somebody is affected. This science is simply acknowledging that fact and addressing how to handle the ‘people-side’ of a change. The actual
change is still strategized and planned through the Project Management process as usual. Previously, Project Management was the entire process used to manipulate the desired change to produce the desired results. Project Management could exist as a ‘stand-alone’ process in previous years because the world was a much larger place. Communication was not instantaneous, transportation was not as easy and the corporate mindset was the same throughout an entire corporation and its subsidiaries.
With the changing of generations at the helm of the industrial behemoths, philosophies have changed as well. Baby boomers and Generation “X’ers” definitely possess very different philosophies regarding the conduct of business. There is a present need to address change and change management at the earliest age possible to prepare our society for what we have done as a whole and to teach all how to operate daily in this managed chaos. This is ultimately the reason universities globally teach this subject of Change Management.
Biblically this topic was addressed two thousand years ago. Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi stated that he found a need to be content in whatsoever state he was in (Php 4:11). He was a rarity of his day; He spent most of his entire life traveling and changing lives. In his effort to do the will of God, Paul found himself in a multitude of situations and conditions. This was due to constantly changing environments, locations, and friends. At first glance of his statement concerning contentment, one might think Paul is talking only about the peaks and valleys life brings to humanity. In reality it reveals a principle which would still be needed 2000 years later and it was breathed by God through Paul’s pen.
Humans naturally resist change. Even the most change progressive professional finds circumstances in life that they would rather not change. The entire world is guilty of these emotions to a some degree. Paul knowing this resistance existed, and God knowing how it would soon increase in the world, penned these words of wisdom for the benefit of those who would listen in 2013. He encourages us to be content in whatever state we are in, even within the state of constant change.
The importance of this knowledge escalates as the remembrance of God’s promises begins to flow through the cortex of the mind. Within the darkness of this world, misdirection and confusion enter into the lives of many. However, there is a promise of Godly direction (Pro 3:5-7). This promise is accessed through only one method or criteria, which is “trusting in the Lord.” One cannot be trusting and discontent at the same time. These are opposing emotions. “A double minded man is unstable in ALL his ways” (James 1:8). To receive God’s promise of direction one must be content and trusting in the Lord.
The Psalmist brought to the world a promise that the desires of the heart would be given when one delights in the Lord (Psa 37:4). The mind does not have the capacity to house both discontentment and delight for the Lord. Again, these are opposing conditions. One must be content, even in the midst of an constantly changing world. “Singlemindedness” and delight in the Lord are the keys to receiving the desires of the heart.
Scripture offers hundreds of promises to all who believe and are saved. Every one of these promises can be accessed only through God’s methodology. God told Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom 9:15). This is true for Christians also. God is in control. He is the One who defines the situation. He is the One who produces the outcome of every situation. He knows when one is content and trusting in him and is going to be a recipient of His promise. He also knows when one cannot find contentment and therefore cannot apply the promises given through His word. It is not up to humanity to decide when blessings, mercy, or grace will be applied. God has reserved those rights solely to himself and they are only accessed through His ways.
As Change Management in the spiritual realm can be conquered through contentment in Christ, we can pursue His will through the same old, proven project management tool, His Word. Just as Change Management is the people side of change that works along side the technical side of Project Management, so the Word of God interfaces with the Christians that invite others into our oasis of contentment. The Word of God speaks life into every situation, need or blessing. It is the unchanging directive that leads and guides everyday giving directions to follow and supplies ammunition for the battle. The Bible is the curriculum that presents His methodology to spiritually manage his projects here on earth. The Word contains the solid, ever constant principles that can be relied upon emphatically even in this whirlwind of change called modern day life.
It is humanity’s responsibility to be content within the current condition knowing that contentment produces His promises. When contentment is reached in its purest state, there is a promise given that declares God will never leave nor forsake (Heb 13:5). This promise is literally offering the love, protection, peace, way-making power, strength, healing virtue, and so much more that flows through the blood of Jesus Christ to each and everyone that finds their place and contentment in Him.
Mark Kurtz was born in Barberton, Ohio. With his wife, Carrie, and two children, Noah and Chloe, he invested fourteen years of ministry in Elyria, Ohio before relocating to Gadsden, Alabama. At Church on the Rock they are involved in multiple ministries, striving to advance the kingdom of God.