EP 177 – VISION ADOPTION CYCLE
Well Bootcampers the boys are back at it this time in JAX when Bob was in for a quick visit. Today they take up the topic of Vision and how to communicate it as a leader. Sit back, grab something to keep notes and consider how to improve your casting of vision.
Some helpful resources
- Crossing the Chasm – Geoffrey A. Moore
- Pouring Old Wine into New Wineskins – Aubrey Malphurs
- Refocus – Rob Peters
Get a vision for your website from a quick consult with our great partner, One Eighty Digital. They are experts in the field and can get you up and running. Let them know you are a Bootcamper.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] All
right. Here we are back at the bootcamp. Bob, I hope you’re ready for the next episode. Jack’s edition got you here in the bold city for a little
Bob Bickford: the bold and the beautiful city. Yes, it’s great to be here and I’m thankful to come to Jacksonville because Hertz always treats me right. When I roll in here, I’ve got some giant QX Infinity 1010
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
The Infinity, they do the, all their models are letters and numbers and Yeah.
Bob Bickford: you know, I had a QX four Jimbo for a while and, give to my daughter and then it died of dusty death.
JimBo Stewart: Oh man. That’s sad. You
the num, the number letter models always makes you think of, have you, have you picked up on the pattern of Tesla models?
Bob Bickford: plaid
JimBo Stewart: Plaid. is
like, that’s not necessarily one of the models. That’s a trim of
It’s fastest car outta
but if you pay attention Model
he couldn’t get Model E. He wanted Model E, but that was already owned by another company. Okay. So he did model
then Model Y.
Bob Bickford: y, and
JimBo Stewart: and then he
bought Twitter and all his money’s
Bob Bickford: So he’s actually, have you noticed, um, like again, and I, I, I am not as up on current events as probably a third of our boot campers are, but Twitter seems to be rebounding and, and making some good progress in the sense that, you know, all
advertisers were supposed to leave when he kind of opened
Mm-hmm. . And now it seems like, at least according to his tweets,
JimBo Stewart: Okay. All right. Well, you know, if
Bob Bickford: Yes.
JimBo Stewart: Oh,
I wish that
hey, speaking of things that aren’t always true and how we perceive things and, you know, starting a new venture like Twitter.
and how well that vision is adopted or received. I wanted to do a follow up [00:02:00] episode today, Bob. We’ve talked before about the emotional cycle
which I do think is a very helpful tool in research as we go through any sort of change. But one of
the beginning, the assumed starting point of the emotional cycle of change is uninformed.
Optimism. So you’re starting out at I like this idea and where
and I’m pumped about it. I don’t really know what
Which is not always where you
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
Yeah. Jimbo, I, I have a lot of uninformed optimism when I used to go to
JimBo Stewart: Oh, okay.
Bob Bickford: You know, water parks where you’re, it’s a hot day and you think. , man, I’m gonna, I’m, I’m, this is gonna be feel really good and it’s gonna be great. And then Jimbo, you go to the water park and then you
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. And then you
Bob Bickford: Yes. . And then you look at the water and what’s in the water.
And [00:03:00] Jimbo, it just looks like a soup of humanity. Yeah. And then I go
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Then you’re in the
of despair, ,
Yeah. And If
you don’t have a good
Bob Bickford: reason,
I’m outta here.
JimBo Stewart: Worst, worst experience I ever had at a water park was with my oldest son,
think it was his,
my wife is very clear. Do not let him get sunburns. I have ginger babies. We burn very easily. and so
I took spray
sunscreen, and I was like, all right,
Bob Bickford: oh
JimBo Stewart: eyes
started crying so bad.
really tried to put on a brave face and, and just like pushed through. But it was, it was
It, it didn’t go well.
Bob Bickford: How’s he doing with
JimBo Stewart: I
think he’s recovered.
it took a [00:04:00] little while. He
sted and eye infections. Every
in a while.
be related. I
know. But, uh, it wasn’t
a good, it
wasn’t a good run.
so here’s the thing that the, the emotional cycle change. Go back and listen to that episode. we actually
blog episode on that.
Yeah. A blog,
there’s another piece to this
the organization as
the Vision Adoption Cycle. This originally came from a book by
called Crossing the Chasm, which is really about marketing, and selling
to mainstream customers.
And so the idea
the original work.
when you come out with a
specifically, there’s gonna be some people who are gonna jump on real quick just cuz they like technology, they like new things,
to have the newest
one. Even if there’s
bugs in it, they’re fine with that.
[00:05:00] sell to.
wanna have a sustainable, income for your company, you’re gonna have to figure out how to move from
adapters to some middle adopters, kind of the middle of the road
to really believe. So the
that chasm between those early adopters and
you jump that chasm?
a church kind of version of this in, into a book called Pouring New Wine into Old Wine Skins and Adapted.
to Change a Church
It. It’s actually a really good book.
There’s some great
information on change leadership
And then our
buddy Rob Peters has then, who is a, who is
Mouthers, has adopted that into his refocus process a little bit.
from both of
when you get into a church, you are excited, you’re at the top of
the emotional cycle
might [00:06:00] have some early adopters with you, some innovators, early adopters that are super excited about it,
Right. Chances are, unless those are being transplanted into
from a mother sponsored church, right? So if you have a, this is
another good reason
have a mother sponsored church that would provide
actually very excited.
Or you might reach
families real quick
really address this necessarily. but you inevitably, if you do that and they’re transplanted, they’re
there, they’re not part of
You, one of the things you gotta be mindful of is you kind of, you, the chasm
there’s a divide between
Bob Bickford: Yeah. It’s an us and them. I, I remember when we replanted Jimbo, we had a few folks that heard about what we were doing and they decided to come over and
and be a part of it. And it, it did turn into a real us and them, and
[00:07:00] we tried our best in so many ways
To break down those barriers. We did this thing called dinners of eight, where we mixed everybody up and they did dinner in homes and we said, you know, I remember saying for the first year after the worship service, Hey, we know you guys are gonna eat lunch.
Here’s what we recommend. Find somebody
and go out to lunch
Yeah. And here’s the problem. All of my old folks wanted
to go to
Miss Sherry’s cafe,
all my young families had to get their kids home so they wouldn’t lose their minds. Right. And
JimBo Stewart: em
Bob Bickford: bed.
So good idea. Mm-hmm.
JimBo Stewart: we just
so keep in mind that that’s, that’s something you’re gonna be dealing with is you might have that
to deal with.
That’s another, maybe a topic for another podcast to go into deeper, but just let’s imagine you have some people jumping on and you’re trying to
else to jump on as well.
Well know that the Rod Peter says
adoption process is never a straight line. Vision
roller coaster than a
and so this is part of [00:08:00] what we’re
and I think
this contributes a little bit
Mm-hmm. is when things,
fall off. And when
we first started
talking about that, you know, me, I’m a, I’m
a patterns guy
and I’m always trying to find what are
behavioral patterns. And I initially, when I was looking at that, everybody
looking at the circumstances, what were the circumstances of why the wheels were
there was no consistency,
it was all
over the map.
and so there was
pattern there other
than something happened.
it would, it
would be seemingly unique
year three happened
when Covid hit, our year three happened to be when, for us,
first Trump election and the political divide that, that created in the country.
And, and certainly those can contribute when those types of things fall
in. But there is something to
like year three
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I think so. You know, a lot of people talk about the honeymoon phase, and I don’t know how long your [00:09:00] honeymoon phase was.
like three months maybe. And so oftentimes
to a year.
some pastors who have done turnarounds or realizations or replants say, Hey, as much as you can, unless
on fire and is broken and destructive, try not to change things.
Great. until you’ve been there a year.
Get some trust, pastor people, get to know the people, love them, visit them, et cetera. So that second year then is all about starting to test the vision of, mm-hmm. , okay, I’ve been here with you for a year. Here’s what I see are some things that need some attention. And then in year three, it’s really trying to launch into
and create change.
And so I
be a common
Yeah. Or a, frequent
So you might find yourself, at
battle of change that really began.
during year one, but you publicly didn’t say
it. So like
you think about [00:10:00] Nehemiah. Mm-hmm. , he just didn’t roll into town and tell everybody
what he’s gonna do.
What’d he do? Well, he got on the horse in the middle of the night and didn’t really have anybody with him, and he rode around and saw, surveyed the city and saw all the things that needed to be done. Then he comes back and cast vision and because the Lord was with him and because the Lord moved in into people’s hearts, then they, they rose and they build, built the walls back.
Right. But this shows you, there’s this
Sensing and seeking the vision, having that, holy discontent
talked about before. So, and then slowly moving towards casting the vision and then implementing the vision. And most of the guys, I think culturally, and maybe this is just for us, in, in
church, unless in our churches in
have a lot
in the bank,
have a lot
Yeah. And so the change process
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. It’s, such a hard thing to get people on board to change something. like this. And so I think it’s just helpful to know that not only
are you gonna have
an emotional cycle, but there’s gonna be kind of [00:11:00] an adoption
everything that you’re doing.
And, and you might get some early adopters, early innovators, whether that be through transplants, young families that join people that hear about
doing. And know
that’s gonna be
small percentage of the people, unless you do some sort of campus model
right. Which is why I think we see a higher rate of success,
you’re, the large
percentage of the
already on board with division. Chances are usually two to
and so, Albert Malford says
The early innovators,
kinda the earliest piece, make up approximately two to 3%
of most established
congregations and that the
adapters, which would be that next one, and we’ll have some
of this in
notes, early adapters make up eight to 18% of
and they’ve grown tired of the established quo because
in the beginning of decline, starting decline stage. By the
back in. And,
Aubrey b has
church revitalization principle is to recruit as many. Active vocal allies
possible for your program of change
The change agent should seek out the early adopters as his allies
rally them behind his programs
So my caveat in replanting I would give
people, be careful of letting
So I would say
as hard as
to get some from within the legacy
that’s the voice that
need to hear.
Bob Bickford: Absolutely. The, the first group particularly depends on how you get to the church that’s being revitalized or, or needing to be replanted. If there’s a traditional pastoral surge committee that in Unity in unison said, [00:13:00] Hey, we want this guy, what I would suggest is keeping them.
As a group and as a team in spending time with them, as well as unfolding maybe some folks that have supported you or that, that would, want to help support you in the new work that have come from the outside. I did that with our search committee. I, didn’t have a committee that I could work with as a pastor.
Most bylaws say Jimbo, that a pastor is an ex officio member of every committee. Mm-hmm. . So that means he has to attend every meeting, but he doesn’t get to vote. Yeah. And he doesn’t get to set the
How crazy. Is that
of leadership and governance, right? Yeah.
given that, one of the things I did was I said to the pastor search team, I want you guys to stay on board.
I want you to transition to the pastor liaison team, and I want us to meet together on a regular basis to make recommendations to the church for change. Right. So that’s good. So I would suggest if you can do that, if you’re just now going to a church, do that it, and if you are struggling to find those early [00:14:00] adopters who want to be on board with you, man, I, I think your, your advice, Jimbo is sage.
You gotta find some positive voices for change. Yeah. Because typically in a declining church,
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. I would say if, you
from a document called Crossing the
you have early
adopters, I would just say
you probably have a wider chasm if you don’t have early adopters, and you’re
to win over the middle adopters.
you have some early adopters
win middle adopters,
Rob Peter says The middle adopters are receptive to the new vision, but they need questions
answered before they can get on board. the need for information by the middle adopters makes year two of the vision
They need more information
may have to spend,
may, you will have to spend more
than you probably
Bob Bickford: Jimbo,
to [00:15:00] late
And so if we’re thinking
adopting our new dog, Dax, who we welcomed into the family mid,
lot of questions.
Mm-hmm. , and she’s learned that, there’s a way that we can process those and so, she’ll say something like, so what you’re thinking is, and then she’ll kind of give her perspective on what she thinks that I’m thinking. And when that matches up and perfectly aligns, it’s great.
when when I’m actually
a little more tense. Right. So, so we live that out normally in our own lives, when typically the Lord sometimes will match us with somebody who’s on the different side
so when you think about your
in the church, ,
need to think about it in the sense of, I’m gonna have to explain and explain and explain again.
And also I’m likely gonna have to deal with questions [00:16:00] underneath
And the question underneath
fear question. Mm-hmm. , right? Mm-hmm. , how’s this gonna change? Right. What
he telling me? This is like when you went into the,
car dealership, sales office, and here’s what I’m telling you, but here’s what I really mean down here, , right?
So it’s like
we’ve gotta have a full conversation and I’ve gotta spend enough time to make sure that
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, yeah.
they, so middle adopters need evidence, right? They need their questions answered,
information, education, and then they kind of
need to. see, , then
if you, again, if you don’t have
adopters with you, it’s, it’s gonna take you a long time to get that evidence.
this is why
be on you, to try
those middle adopters over.
your middle adopters
And, Aubrey Malford says, the late adopters are the last
the [00:17:00] church
a new idea
or program of change.
may never acknowledge it, verbal.
will fall in line
of the majority or the middle adopters. And
idea here is
if you have early adopters and you can win over middle adopters, then
late adopters will eventually.
of the things
if you look at some of the think ways that, Rob
Petersons has laid
this out, is while the middle adopters need
that changes for them. They
hit their personal life.
see their granddaughter
grandson break an addiction, or they’ve gotta see you walk them through grief and show
love them and you shepherd them well,
them [00:18:00] through
some sort of hard
But at some point, the, the evidence isn’t, is not necessarily what’s gonna win them over as much as some sort of emotional connection to you as a leader or emotional connection
of the church.
Bob Bickford: Yeah,
makes me think
of three bees.
JimBo Stewart: Babies,
Bob Bickford: budget
church hasn’t had any babies
remodel the nursery,
and your young families who came to help you do the replant, start having babies, man, that will, that’s like putting gas on the fire.
People are excited about that cuz they, everybody loves a new baby. Right? And budget receipts. If, if you’re reaching people and you start seeing people come in and people start giving towards the, the, the mission and the vision and, and the needs, right? I had, a patriarch of the church who told me one time, he said, here’s, here’s my suggestion to you.
He said, always have
[00:19:00] that you can share
can give towards
mm-hmm. , right? And so I was like, that’s great advice, right? So we, we’d raised some money, one time we cast a vision for a new, mother’s room now, where we could bring the service from upstairs down into the, basement of our church.
Kind of a separate fellowship upon, so, , we cast a vision for that Jimbo in a, in a church B, family meeting, members meeting. And we got the budget. We had somebody pay for it right then and there. Like they came up
the meeting and said,
write the check.
Baptist doesn’t love baptisms. Only an unregenerate, cranky Baptist .
not really a Baptist, right? So we love baptism. You love celebrating and seeing people get saved. I mean, you talked about the granddaughter, you talked about the, the son who’s, you know, broken addictions, all those sorts of things.
a flywheel of change
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Talking about, the late adopters specifically
as it ties
year three, Rob Peter says year three is [00:20:00] typically more difficult as the late
grieving as they realize
must give up in order to
they’re filled with emotions and usually the pastor
engage these often intense
emotions so the late adopters can cross over from being resistant to
emotionally. Mm-hmm. for them. There’s, there’s something’s gonna have to make a shift emotionally.
to shepherd those strong emotions
that they have
and understand that that is not necessarily, that they are,
not anti adopters.
we’re gonna get to here in
They’re just late adopters and there’s
let them process
There’s real grief to what they’re losing
Bob Bickford: One
of the. Impactful conversations I had during that early season of our church in the process of replanting was from one of the [00:21:00] founder’s daughters who was a baby in the nursery,
and she came up to the church.
So gracious, such a kind lady, and she said to me, she
said, I, I
just, I think I want to say something to you to help you understand what those of us who’ve been around here
and we look
the same church
we’ve always known,
when we walk inside the
looks nothing like
in giving me her perspective, Jimbo, it really was a huge impact for me. Just to understand, I have to be gracious with these folks because I think most re planters and revitalizes drive into the parking.
Walk into the building, listen to the worship music and go, this is nothing like the church I want
pastor, and nothing like
I would want to attend.
I’ve gotta put it in fifth gear and put the gas down and make it like [00:22:00] I have a vision for it
soon as I po possibly can. Yeah. But the problem is
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. It’s, it’s takes such patience, tactical, patience, and
this kind of change. And
And then you
have anti adopters.
and this is
That might be a larger percentage, I
in a replant.
anti adopters, are, are gonna be two to
will silently object
the vocal opposition.
lay leaders to [00:23:00] engage both groups.
The never adopters
must understand that
embraced. They’ve been outvoted. The anti adopters must be specifically challenged, possibly even disciplined
to beat back their opposition. If
they will recruit the never
Bob Bickford: Yeah. There, there’s your three quarters super majority, right? Yeah. There and it’s, and sometimes jimbo’s, not even the three quarters. Super majority because I’ve seen church partnerships and church replant. prospects fail because of
where they just never are able
The smaller the congregation,
majority. Yeah. Right. Because it only can take just a, a handful, a small handful of folks to shoot down the plans for church renewal. So man, be wise in how you work
[00:24:00] anti adopters.
And then I would
some church discipline at some point.
Maybe it’s informal. Hopefully
it will have to come before the entire church. But what I would say is, pastor, know your
equipping all along in maybe year one and two.
If you have to get to this year three, and this all occurs in year three, be ready to, to do the loving thing. To ask people to get on board or
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
here. Church discipline
necessary for anti adopters,
go somewhere. They’ll just ghost you.
Uh, there was a lady in our
and literally about
back a few
Bob Bickford: Oh,
JimBo Stewart: Oh,
Bob Bickford: And [00:25:00]
JimBo Stewart: Until
Bob Bickford: was
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
sl. I, I
Like it, she was like the, started like
about a year,
it was like
fifth row, and then
sixth or seventh row.
of her time
with her. Okay. She took the
with her and she
who’s going to
be vocally and actively creating dis division disunity. They might even be gossiping and spreading rumors
is where you
Bob Bickford: Yeah, totally agree. My and my earlier comments were really meant towards that end. And I, I think we did, we had to do that, Jimbo, we had, [00:26:00] we had, someone who wrote anonymous letter
Hmm. And and then we had an another key leader and his wife who had a.
Secret Sunday school meeting. Wow. In, in their home. And, we, and they were spreading things that were not true and saying things that were not true about our leaders and me and where we were headed and all those sorts of things. And so we had to do the,
first, very first ever done church discipline,
action in our church.
And after we did all that and they said they were gonna leave the church, we didn’t kick ’em out. They, they resigned their membership and they said they were gonna leave
After we told that to the church on a Sunday morning, we
everybody together and explained what
was going on.
up after that
been done a long
Mm. And so I would say to the re planters and, and revitalizes and renewal pastors out there,
if you’re concerned
and you’re fearful
don’t be because
in the bylaws
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. Hey guys, thanks for joining us in this conversation about, the vision
We’d love to hear your
in regards to this.
Bob Bickford, Casting Vision, Church Change, church revitalization, emotional cycle of change, getting churches to change, Jimbo Stewart, leading a church to change, pastoring, replanting, vision, Vision Adoption, why church change is difficult