The power of habit

Karen Vannoy
Karen Vannoy

I think the churches in the Desert Southwest Conference are finally beginning to realize the serious need for deep change inside all our congregations. Too often, though, the ideas for change which are brought forth and discussed barely scratch the surface of the kind of sea change which is needed in the church. In the book The Power of Habit, author, Charles Duhigg, attempts to answer two questions, “Why do habits exist, and how can we change them?”

Part of the proposition is that in any organization there are “keystone habits.” Keystone habits are those practices that, when changed, start a positive chain reaction that has the power to change an entire organization. It started me thinking about what the keystone habits are of churches. If we could identify them, then changing those habits might be the key in bringing change to an organization that can't change fast enough. Maybe some smaller changes will cascade into a bigger and bigger wave of change continually washing over the church's shores. Here's my list, but I want to add to it, so let me know your ideas.

How leadership is selected and trained;

How the congregation defines and lives out the meaning of membership;

The understood and lived out purpose of the congregation;

The focus of worship;

The significance of membership involvement;

How willing the congregation is to engage in risk taking mission;

What are your church’s keystone habits?