CNLP 081: A Step By Step Guide to Minimizing Opposition When Leading Organizational Change with Rob Cizek

Leading change is hard, but Rob Cizek has navigated those waters successfully.

Rob sits down with Carey and shares a practical step-by-step approach to leading organizational change that will maximize buy in and minimize opposition.

Welcome to Episode 81 of the podcast.



Guest Links: Rob Cizek


Northshore Christian Church

Rob on Twitter

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Leading Change Without Losing It

Stewardship Conference 2016 

Bill Hybels

John Maxwell

Dan Reiland

Andy Stanley; Episode 1

Takeaways from this Episode

Why do you think so many people find it difficult to organize change? As leaders, we’re more comfortable with the idea of change, but the difficulty comes with leading people, and everyone has a different idea of what church is supposed to be. Rob takes us through his process of guiding the church through difficult transitions and how to offer grace during the process.

  1. Start with vision. Leaders can see when something can be done better. It’s how we want the future to be. Our vision should be big enough to challenge the organization for the next several years. It should be clear, memorable and exciting. Typically the senior pastor (with input from the board) will develop a specific church vision.
  1. Map your strategy. Strategy is the plan for how we are going to achieve our vision. It’s the map of how we will get from where we are today to where we want to be tomorrow. Typically the executive pastor or staff executive team will develop the strategy (with input from the senior pastor).
  1. Lead others through the change. It may be tempting to immediately cast your vision to everyone. Don’t. To be effective, leaders must intentionally shepherd the change process from the people at the top of the organization, through the middle and ultimately to everyone. Think of the process as a Change Pyramid that needs to be worked from the tip down through the base.
  1. Garner staff and church alignment. Carefully review, in light of the vision, how these resources have been used. Are all staff members on board and working towards the vision? With the new vision comes an opportunity to change how your church thinks about its staff. Are staff there to do the work of the ministry, or are staff there to equip the congregation to do the work of the ministry? If staff can lead an army of volunteers, you will have significantly greater resources to achieve the vision.
  1. Influence change through celebration. Once the vision is cast and the strategy is being executed, celebration becomes key. Have testimonies and short videos that tell stories of how the vision is succeeding. Mark milestones. Publicly pray for those who are working the front lines of your vision. When you see people behaving the right way, showcase it.

Quotes from this Episode

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Next Episode: David Kinnaman

Is telling others about Jesus an act of extremism? What about waiting for marriage to have sex?

Next week, David Kinnaman joins us with some shocking findings on what unchurched people really think about Christians and gives us practical ideas on how to bridge the gap between Christianity and the culture we’re trying to reach.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 82.


  1. Dale Critchley on April 10, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Where is that outline that you said you’d link in the notes?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      It’s under Takeaways in the show notes, above.

      • Dale Critchley on April 10, 2016 at 7:24 pm

        Oh. Right. I misunderstood what was meant by outline. My bad.

        Btw, a suggestion for your site: a link on your “Podcast” page to entries tagged podcast for easy access to show notes since the audio player doesn’t have links in its show notes.

        Thanks for this show. Keep it up.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on April 10, 2016 at 8:34 pm

          Thanks Dale. That’s a good idea. We are totally redesigning the website this summer. And btw, if you use the Overcast app, the show note are attached. Same with the latest iTunes update. Thanks!

  2. Zachary Verbracken on March 31, 2016 at 4:28 pm


    These podcasts have been so helpful lately.

    I’m so grateful that I get to learn from you and other great leaders.

    Appreciate all that you do and invest into this podcast. It’s making a difference.

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