“I’m not changing anything for a year” said the new pastor.
He was going with the advice that I have heard too. The old wisdom says don’t change anything until you have been around for at least one year. Some of the reasons are that you need to get to know people and need to build up a repoir or gain the respect of your new congregation.
Here’s my thoughts on that. Change something as soon as you can. People will allow you to do a few things they don’t like when you first show up. If you wait too long they will wonder why you didn’t make the change when you saw the need. Don’t just randomly change something. Don’t change something just to make changes, but make changes as you see the need.
If you are new, you are bringing new eyes to the church. You are bringing your experience and new ideas that the church may not have seen before. As you enter into your new role you will quickly make assessments about things you think could be better to accomplish what you believe needs to happen in the church and the community.
If you wait, there is a danger that you will miss some of the opportunities to make a few changes and quickly gain momentum while people are still excited about having a new pastor and leader in place. I don’t mean you make huge changes, those take total buy in of your leaders. What you do is change little things that will give momentum to the bigger changes down the road.
Change something as soon as you see the need and can do the change justice.