The Math of Opposition

Share This Post

As we wrap our week on the declining church and what it would take to transform the church, here’s some math to consider.

Anyone who is going to defy the odds and help lead a church that grows and makes a difference is going to need courage.  The math that has helped me involves thinking through the percentages around change.

Whenever you want change, people will oppose it.  Doesn’t matter what it is, people get upset.  The math of opposition looks roughly like this:

10% are deeply opposed

20% are opposed

40% are neutral

20% are open

10% are eager

As a leader, it’s critical you choose which groups you listen to most.  If you have 30% in favour and 30% opposed, doesn’t it make sense to run with the 30% who are in favour?  Additionally, who you run with will help determine who the neutral people side with.  If you side with the early adopters you could have 70% of your church on board. In fact, when the 70% begin to speak up, the 20% who are simply ‘opposed’ and not ‘deeply opposed’ often change their mind – even if it is belatedly.  By choosing who you focus on you can ultimately find 90% buy in.

This will take dedication and leadership because

The people deeply opposed are louder than those who are open and eager for change

The people deeply opposed are angry

The people deeply opposed are demanding

But seriously, are you really going build the future on people with that mindset?  Didn’t think so.  What’s worse, if you continually let the opposition have the floor, those eager for change and open to change will lose hope and likely leave.  They’ll find another leader ready to embrace change.

Now…one last point.  And this is so critical for change.  The math above covers the people inside your organization.  Not those outside.  Let’s say your church has 1,000 people in it, and the community has 100,000 people you are trying to reach.

Those deeply opposed to change represent 10% of your church, but only .001% of your community.

Are you seriously going to let .001% of your community hold the future hostage?  Are you going to sacrifice the 99.99% of people who will eventually embrace good change for the sake of the .001% who won’t?  Didn’t think so.

And there’s your courage.  Now go change.

Brand New: A Step-By-Step Framework For Leading Change...
Even When It Feels Like Everyone Is Against You.

Every leader—myself included—knows what we need to change. But most of us get stuck on how to bring about that change.

Between the opposition, self-doubt, and unknowns, change freezes so many leaders.

  • How do you know which risks are worth taking? 
  • What do you do when you’re faced with opposition? 
  • Who should have input in the process? Who do you tell?
  • How do you develop the strength to keep pushing, even when it feels like everything is working against you? 

You may think it’s just you that experiences these doubts, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

So how do you lead change without giving up your dream of what could and should be? How do you stay relevant, even when change isn’t working in your favor? 

My brand new course, The Art of Leading Change, is a step-by-step guide to making the right changes and implementing them successfully.

In the course, you get my entire playbook for leading change—from start to finish:

  • Determine who is for (or against) the change and why
  • Know exactly when you need to make changes and how quickly you'll need to make them
  • Learn who to include and listen to each step of the way... and who not to include
  • Frameworks to communicate change effectively and with minimal pushback
  • Decide where to focus your attention and develop the questions that will set your course
  • Learn how to persevere until your critical breakthrough
  • And much more

It’s the complete package of frameworks, mindsets, strategies, and skills that will equip you to lead change with confidence and wisdom.

Are you ready to lead your organization into a brighter future? Today, you can get access to it all.

Share This Post
Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]