Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
October 21st, 2001

An acquaintance, Mark Redd reminded me this week of something I had used previously based on ideas taken from William M. Easum's book “Ministry In A Changing World”. The article stated that there were five different ways that people adopt a new idea. 

INNOVATORS - Represents about 2.5% of people in an organization. They usually have a wide spread of friends living long distances apart. These are the relational risk takers. They are the earliest leaders of a new idea.

EARLY ADOPTERS - Usually about 13.5%, and represents the opinion setters in an organization. They are people who ask, "What do you think about this?" They will be some of the first to adopt a new idea.

EARLY MAJORITY - Represents about 34% of an organization. This group wants to be sure that the idea will succeed. They will join in, after the Early Adopters, because they trust the leadership.

LATE MAJORITY - Represents about 34% of an organization. They are the sceptics. They will join in after all the others have done so. Often, they consider themselves the guardians of tradition. Once these people are on board, the new idea is here to stay.

LAGGARDS - Usually about 16% of an organization. They seek out only those who agree with their opinion. They live in a tiny bubble of structured activity. They do not want any change.

How can you help people cope with inevitable change? 

- Realize that not all changes are good; however, we do have the freedom to choose our attitude. "Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better." Ephesians 4:23 (LB)

ENCOURAGE THEM TO KEEP ON LEARNING - Pay attention and you will be amazed from whom you learn. "The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them." Proverbs.18:15

TEACH THEM TO STAY MALLEABLE! - In ancient times, wine was kept in canteens made of animal skins. As the skins aged, they would become brittle and crack from new wine that was still fermenting. Jesus once said, “You can't put new wine in old wineskins.” His point was this: When faced with change, we must adjust or we will explode! Pray this: “Dear God, help me be more flexible this week... with my co-workers... clients... customers... and family.”