The only constant in our world is Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Everything else is changing at an increasingly faster pace. I'm finding the rate of change at Mars Hill Church to be the second most important factor affecting our team of dedicated staff and volunteers. The most important factor is serving Jesus; we see that every day in so many expressions, most of which are positive and simply heartwarming. The rate of change does not evoke the same reaction, but it does deserve commentary. Coping or dealing with change is big business; it is one of the few fundamental leadership issues that impacts every organization. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a graduate-level resident training program at Harvard Business School. It was an awesome experience and I returned home with a boatload (remember I spent twenty-five years in the Coast Guard) of fresh new mental models and concepts. One of them was so refreshingly simple, yet so rich in meaning: Human nature is such that most of us (including action junkies) operate in the "contentment quadrant." This is the world we know, status quo. What happens when change invades our contented world? Let's illustrate using a flock of sheep--since that is a common metaphor the Bible uses to describe us. Say the head shepherd tells the flock we have to move to a higher pasture (since this current spot is nearly out of food). That simple proclamation and change message immediately causes the sheep to start the denial process. If sheep could talk, they'd probably say, "The pasture is just fine," or "We're happy here," or "We just got here!" and on and on. Some sheep will have a quick denial thought and be done with this stage. They move on to the frustration quadrant because the shepherd has addressed not all of their questions, concerns, or issues to their satisfaction, or because they don't have complete understanding of the situation. Once the explanation or understanding comes, these sheep will move up into the acceptance quadrant. Each sheep has his or her own built-in, Creator-wired acceptance rate; once acceptance is reached, we subconsciously move into a new place of contentment. The Executive Elders have been spending time thinking and praying about this very topic. Experience teaches us that most people can effectively handle two major change boxes at any given time. We are praying about how to shepherd the flock deliberately through this process. Sometimes it means sending a sheep dog to lovingly move people out of a denial or frustration quadrant by providing help and understanding that leads them in a specific direction. Disciples of Jesus should never remain in the contentment quadrant for long; collectively, our commission on earth will not end until He returns, and individually, God refines us to make us more holy, more like Jesus. Please pray for your pastors as we learn how to shepherd the disciples at Mars Hill Church through the constant change that comes with service to our unchanging Lord.