Friday, September 08, 2006

You can only change an organisation from within

I've been thinking about this a whole lot lately, and there's been a fair few situations over the years where I reckon this principle has been applicable.

A few years ago I was asked to be on the steering committee for a local Youth Alive-with which I think my issues are reasonably well-documented on here. I spoke to the guy who asked me and I voiced some of my concerns, some of which he agreed with, others he didn't, which was cool.

But he said to me something along the lines of "Well if you just stay on the outer where you are, the people who are running it will never change it will they? They'll just keep doing the same thing, and you'll just stay pissed off with it all, and nobody benefits. They need to hear what you have to say, and you need to hear where they're coming from and why they do what they do."

That really made a lot of sense to me, and still does.

Circumstances didn't work out with me being involved, but that principle has really stuck with me.

When looking at planting the Huddle, one of the reasons I wanted to stay connected with the Frankston Church of Christ was so that I could keep encouraging and challenging the church there about being missional, about connecting with the community etc etc. Not that I'm by any means the only person on that bandwagon, which is sweet, but I felt if I was to help the church there change, it wouldn't be done by me just heading out and doing my own thing and not being a part of the church family at all.


Anonymous said...

So glad you think so digs, and so glad you are still 'a part' of FCoC (even tho FCoC is a part of 'the Church' at large, so regardless of where you were, we'd always be a part of the same church...but that's besides the point!). Networking and learning from each other is such a valuable thing, and i think that our church community has benenfited greatly from having you round. It's great, it's like FCoC is the central meeting point, the hub/admin centre, but spurting out from that go different things/idea/people in many directions, still connected though - and i've found that it's so very encouraging to be 'connected' - gives a better sense of the bigger picture!

Anonymous said...


You're by no means the only person who feels that way. Who knows, sooner or later the net weight of people who want to "get out of the box" (or out of the sphere, or out of the trapezoid, or ...) may 'outweigh' those that haven't been challenged YET?

By remaining connected and sharing with each other, we get to hear what has and hasn't worked, or what has been temptingly positively received (success can be dizzying and scary), and we have each other to be accountable to in our CHRISTian walk (a walk of faith, not predictability).

Mind you, I LOVE our family at FCoC. Those older in their life journey, and those older in their faith (not necessarily the same) are so encouraging, and just love to love GOD (and me, and you) ... even if we express that love differently.


GOD is good!!! Whoo hoo!!!

Missional Jerry said...

Powerfully said.

Organizational change will only occur when we hang in there and help to induce the change we feel God is calling for.

Hang in there I'll be praying for your work with The Huddle.

Couple nice articles on this over at

Digger said...

Hey Mase, yeah i think your last sentence there is another big part of where its at for me, really encouraging to see all the other stuff going on.

Digger said...

Hey Sarah, good to hear from ya.

Yeah I know-exciting hey :) I think more and more people are asking the good questions about how we become more missional-and thats what its all about.

If that leads us to new faith communities, then cool, if not, thats cool also.

Digger said...

And Jerry, thanks for dropping by. Checked out your blog, looks like you've got some good stuff there-willl be back to check it out again.

Anonymous said...

Hey digs,

I agree that getting directly involved with a group is the best way to change/influence/express your opinion. But I don't think that it's you can only change an organisation from within.

Because of the Africa Aid stuff, and reading up on MakePovertyHistory and the Micah Challenge, heaps of their activities involve things like petitions, letters to the government, etc. While these may not be as effective as, say - seducing John Howard and getting him to actually give that 0.7% GNI that Australia pledged to give to countries in need (and good luck to you in the seducing) - I reckon they still have heaps of merit, and can bring around change, if only little by little. But then, with things like poverty, change is always going to be a slow process.

Anyway, let me know what you think.