Book Review – John P. Kotter’s “Leading Change”

Leading and implementing change in a local church is very challenging and is often unsuccessful.  Kotter addresses the process of leading change in the business world.  I chose this book because my doctoral dissertation includes transitioning the leadership structures within the local church.  Kotter offers eight stages of the change process:

  1. Establishing a sense of urgency
  2. Creating the guiding coalition
  3. Developing a vision and strategy
  4. Communicating the change vision
  5. Empowering employees for broad-based action
  6. Generating short-term wins
  7. Consolidating gains and producing more change
  8. Anchoring new approaches in the culture

From Kotter I have gleaned valuable insight such as the need for “buy in” from the people.  Change is a process which does not happen quickly and must be managed in such a way that the leadership does not lose creditable influence and the people do not become complacent.  Having the backing of a leadership team is essential in order for a pastor to lead a congregation in change.  This is a great book which complements “Managing Transitions” by William Bridges and provides resources needed within my context of ministry.

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