John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

The Case for Radical Change

I realize, of course, there are some folks out there who still aren’t convinced we need to do anything radical. Maybe just tinker a little here and there, make some slight modifications. I think those people are wrong.

Small investments made consistently over an extended period of time have a cumulative effect. We all understand that, right? This is why you put $100 a month in your kid’s college fund. This is why you hope your company provides you with a 401k or an IRA fund that will match you up to 5%. This is why you take $50 a week and put it in a cookie jar for your vacation to Disneyworld. We all understand: there is a cumulative impact of small investments made consistently over an extended period of time.

Neglect also has a cumulative impact. Neglect to water your lawn. Neglect to clean out your garage. Neglect to monitor your health or eat right or get enough exercise. Neglect to take care of your marriage or build a relationship with your child. It adds up. We get that, right?

The problem is that there is rarely an immediate penalty for missing a single installment. Hit the snooze button and sleep through your spin class today; your blood pressure won’t shoot through the roof this afternoon. Indulge in an extra donut for breakfast; your weight won’t balloon up tomorrow morning. Skip date night with your spouse this week; you won’t end up in divorce court next week. There’s rarely an immediate penalty for missing a single installment, but it adds up.

When a crisis hits, though, small adjustments are usually insufficient, and radical change is required. When your blood pressure is sky high and you’re 100 pounds overweight, you can’t just “cut back a little”. When your wife says she wants a divorce, you can’t offer her a weekend away and hope to fix everything in 48 hours. When crisis hits, your doctor, your therapist, your financial planner – they’re all going to tell you the same thing: you’re not going to fix this until you make some radical changes.

Remember the statistics, decline in membership in Protestant churches during a time of steady population growth, one convert a year for every 85 church attenders, 3,500 churches closing their doors while fewer than 1,500 churches are planted each year.

We’re going backwards. We’ve reached a crisis point. Small changes and slight modifications are no longer sufficient. It’s time to make some radical changes.