Change – Friend or Foe

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Change can be your friend or foe.  The use of telephones has really changed.  The cell phone was developed and is now standard equipment for most people.  If you are in the business of selling and installing land lines, you won’t do much business in the future.  Today, one-half of American homes don’t have a land line and rely solely on cell phones.  Only 8% of homes rely entirely on land lines.  Change has been a friend to developers of cell phones.

Look how the development of watches has changed.  Back in the late 1960’s, the Swiss made 80% of the world’s watches.  By 1980, the Japanese had 80% of the world market because of the revolutionary watch movement called “quartz.”  The Swiss refused this “new way” of making watches.  The world changed, and the Japanese saw it coming and they changed.  Change was a foe for the Swiss.

Today, digital technology has taken watches to a new level.  I was at a doctor’s office a few days after Christmas.  All of a sudden I heard a phone ringing but didn’t see a phone anywhere.  The doctor looked around for a few seconds then realized his watch was ringing!  His family had given him a watch for Christmas that was also a phone.  He didn’t know how to answer it.  He started saying, “Hello, hello, who’s there? Is that you Mike?”  He never did get the call answered.  I’m not sure how new a watch phone actually is.  In the old comic strip, detective “Dick Tracy” used his watch for a phone.

I’m glad the military is staying ahead of the change curve.  General Steven Kwast at Maxwell Air Force Base has given leadership to training his military leaders in the way consistent with 21st Century culture.  He said it’s essential for everybody to do some things differently.  He said that if a business doesn’t keep up with change, it will go out of business.  He said if the military doesn’t keep up with change, there may not be anything left to change!  I’m glad we have military leaders making change a friend.

The U.S. Navy has developed a super gun that uses magnetic rails to fire 25-pound projectiles at 4,500 miles per hour.  These projectiles have so much kinetic energy they can blow holes in enemy ships, destroy tanks, level terrorist camps and blast enemy missiles out of the sky.  Admiral Mat Winter says, “This is going to change the way we fight.”  I’m glad our military is constantly improving and changing to meet today’s challenges.

Crayola is a business that is constantly changing.  The original crayon boxes in the early 1900s had eight colors.  Today, Crayola makes over 120 colors, and the number of colors doubles every 28 years.  Some of today’s colors are “Razzle Dazzle Rose,” “Denim,” and other exotic names.  They are still selling crayons because they are not doing it like they used to.  Change has been their friend!

Dealing with change affects the Church.  Sometimes churches are the last to be willing to change.  I saw a cartoon about a pastoral search committee.  They were explaining their work and said, “Basically we are looking for an innovative pastor with a fresh vision who will inspire our church to remain exactly the same.”  Unfortunately, that’s the attitude of many churches.  Change has been their foe!

I wrote a book that deals with the subject of change and includes a lot of ideas that people in business, sports and the Church can use to make change their friend.  The name of the book is Change? Change!  It delineates things that must change and things that should never change.  Our website has this book in the Resources section, and you can order it by calling the ministry office at (334) 270-2149.

Remember – there’s no way to avoid change.  You will either stay on top of the wave of change, or you will be swallowed up by it. (Tweet this)

Is change your friend or foe?

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