Change is important.
But it’s also important to cling to core values. Paul experienced that tension, and God helped him to facilitate change while not abandoning his core values. In Acts 16:6-10, Paul is all set to carry the Gospel message to Bithynia – but the Spirit of God redirected him to Macedonia. Change – new direction. But it was only a new direction, not a new message. Paul’s core value was not Bithynia; it was fulfilling God’s desire to expand His kingdom. Because he didn’t confuse his desire (to go to Bithynia) with his core value (to follow God’s call), Paul sailed straight for Macedonia.
In the great book Built to Last, Jim Collins notes that once a visionary company identifies its core ideology, it preserves it almost religiously – changing it seldom, if ever. Collins concluded that:
Core values in a visionary company form a rock-solid foundation and do not drift with the trends and fashions of the day. In some cases, these core
values have remained in place for over one hundred years. Yet, while keeping their core ideologies tightly fixed, visionary companies display a powerful desire for progress that enables them to change and adapt without compromising their cherished core ideals.
The point? Capable leaders who recognize their core values can change practices and procedures to enable their organizations to move forward while preserving those same core values.
Like Paul, all godly leaders need the ability to hold on to core values while making those changes necessary to advance their cause.