I’m nearly done with graduate work for an MBA and I started a class last week on Leading Innovation and Change. I’ve been doing a lot of reading (both popular and scholarly) on organizational change and what it takes to be successful at it. It’s given me plenty to think about with regard to Circle of Hope (not to mention with regard to the United States over the last few days). Bottom line: I’m grateful. It’s exciting to be a part of a church that recently took on a major change initiative and continues to grow and develop as a result. We are adaptable!

In 2015, we had a major transition. Rod and I both handed off the congregations we were pastors of to brand new pastors (Rachel and Ben). He and I stepped into new roles (Development Pastor and Director of Operations, respectively) and began to work on new ideas with renewed intensity. The team of pastors transformed and started paying attention to meeting people and loving them well. At the end of 18 months, we added two more pastors to the mix: Julie and Jerome (our church planters in the Northwest).

Those were some big changes: two brand new roles, four brand new pastors (two of them women and one a person of color!), and a brand new congregation. Amazing! But today that’s not what I’m most amazed by.

Today, in a climate focused on national leadership, I’m most amazed by the Leadership Team of Circle of Hope. They are at the heart of who we are and what we’re doing as Circle of Hope. They are adaptable, too. All four of our new pastors emerged from the Leadership Team (all four of them were Cell Leader Coordinators). They were homegrown and deployed into service! When they moved into new roles, new Leadership Team members emerged.

In fact, since the beginning of 2015, Shelby, Donna, Ellen, Jimmy, and Hannah have become Cell Leader Coordinators (here’s a picture of all of them)!


Paul, Annie, Jon, and Nicole have joined the Church Planting Core Team (sweet people)!


Dani, Phil, and Bethany (Stewart) have joined the ranks of the Compassion Core Team (look at how great they are)!

comp-planting-core-smallTrevor, Jeff, John, and Andrew have rounded out the Capacity Core Team (what a group)!

capacityAll of that growth is pretty amazing.

I read the other day that organizational change often fails because organizations don’t give the changes enough time to take root. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, “A change that takes 12 weeks to plan and implement typically takes 100 to 120 weeks to integrate. Poorly planned, it might take 200 weeks. Yet managers and consultants rarely allow more than 26 weeks! Without providing time and attention to transition, organizations fail to see desired benefits of change efforts.”

And this is what makes me grateful! Our ability to adapt is already bearing fruit. It was well planned, but it took a full year. We are integrating rapidly…but it still takes time. As we move toward our fullness, I’m going to bask in gratefulness…two new roles, four new pastors (did I mention that two of them are women!), a brand new congregation and an amazing Leadership Team that displays depth, love, and continuing adaptability.

-Nate Hulfish, writing

1 thought on “Adaptable!

  1. Howard Reply

    Thanks Nate! I had no idea change takes that long to take hold in businesses. It makes sense though and my experience has also seen that as the case. More so, thanks for the encouragement that we are a flexible people who are willing to change to move with that Jesus has for us next!

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