Change! understanding the nature of change in an unpredictable world : an explorative study of the missiological, sociological and theological implications of organizational change, using Prestbury Methodist Church (PMC) as a case study.
Much attention has been given to change initiatives on planned organizational change. John Kotter, who is the foremost scholar on change theory, has developed a model of sequential change steps and this was selected as the study’s theoretical framework. The purpose of this study is to contribute to change theory. The nature of change was explored offering insight into the generational and sociological gaps in society and the barriers to change that are experienced. The theological reflection in chapter three revealed a familiar story in which change is a theme that weaves through scripture. A key interpretive theological element was the mission of God (Missio Dei) from which is derived the missional nature of the people of God. The foundation of this study is a case study of a local church in the midst of change. The study sought to consider whether Kotter’s model could be applied to a church setting. In pursuit of this, the research is located specifically within a church setting. The central question of this approach was to begin an investigation into what the role, place and nature of change is within a local church. The main source of data came by way of literature, interviews and questionnaires. The research drew conclusions which highlighted the important field of change theory. The conclusion of the study reflects a church unable to anchor change within its organizational culture, remaining largely separate from the community and resistant to change. Grave questions regarding, identity, the need for change and the unwillingness to do so were raised. It also raised questions as to the appropriate skills sets of a successful leader in the midst of change.