For some reason we embrace change throughout almost every part of our lives except — in church. You mention change in almost any church in America and you can almost feel the drop in room temperature.
We want the latest innovation in electronics, lawn care equipment, automotive options, but if someone suggests a change or innovation in church programming these people become outcasts or at least those to looked upon as liberal and with suspicion.
We need to remember a couple of key things:
1. Healthy organisms change.
When a baby is born the expectation is for growth and change. No one expects this 6-8 pound child to remain that way for the next 20-30 years and beyond. In fact the lack of weight gain or growth becomes a signal for concern.
2. Organizations need to avoid stagnation.
As Andy Stanley has pointed out….
Leaders love progress. Progress is what keeps them coming back to the task. Nothing is more discouraging to a leader than the prospect of being stranded in an environment where progress is impossible. Progress requires change. If an organization, ministry, business, or relationship is going to make progress, it must change. That is, over time is must evolve into something different. It must become better, more relevant, more disciplined, better aligned, more strategic…..Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s not growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life.”
3. Change must be seen in context.
The apostle Paul encountered many changes in his ministry and circumstances. How was Paul able to be “content” in all circumstances? How was he able to be keep his focus and move along in spite of his ministry moving from teaching with Barnabas in Antioch, to traveling the world with Silas, to parting ways on bad terms with John Mark, to reinstating his relationship with John Mark, to ship wrecks, beating, and his arrest? How was he able to deal with the change from being a respected teacher to a prisoner awaiting execution in a Roman prison?
In Philippians 3 he notes that he has a focus. He has a purpose that keeps all the changes in perspective. He notes that he continues to press on toward the high calling of Christ. He sees it all in the light of the purpose of having a ministry of reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (New International Version)
Why do you resist change in your church?
Are your Kids and Grand kids find your church relevant and meaningful?
Are the Unchurched people in your community attracted to your congregation?