Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXVII
He who sits on the throne (Jesus) said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)
Often only when engulfed in it is one willing to face change. When you experience it, you know its real, and it only becomes a part of you when you fully embrace it.
As an undergraduate, I learned about teaching, but only by experiencing teaching in daily life did I become a teacher. I thought I knew a lot about my wife the day I said, “I do,” BUT how little I did know was exposed through decades of marriage to her. We took “baby classes” prior to the birth of our first child; they were no longer needed for our next two because of what we had experienced with the first one. Now, in the fall of my life, people think I have wisdom, but wisdom is only learned through experiencing life.
Our life cycle is all about change. About the time one gets use to being dependent on their parents, they kick you out of the house! About the time you feel being comfortable as being an independent single, you fall in love and get married. About the time you enjoy your spouse, children arrive! About the time you appreciate your kids, they’ve grown up and left the nest. Its back to adjusting to the spouse in an “empty nest” with no kids. Just as you enjoy one another again, one dies. Now you are single again but discover that you need help from your children during your elderly years; you are dependent again! If life is all about change, then why do we resist it so much? The sooner one yields to change, the sooner life returns to being smoother, familiar, and normal until change raises its head again.
All organisms go through life cycles, even the Church, so it needs to embrace change. The rigidity of defined structures and traditions often oppose and prevent change, so we have to undo mindsets that have been set in stone. Moses had the Law, the Logos Word, set in stone on Mount Sinai but eventually learned that man could not live by it no matter how hard they tried. Jesus came as the Rhema, living, Word who not only lived out the Word, but fulfilled it.
Only through our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with fellow believers for whom we are willing to lay down our lives can we work on changing these mindsets. Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27) Only through yielding to the Holy Spirit can changed mindsets become a reality. The Holy Spirit can instill vision in us, and his still small voice can tell us what to do. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15)
I conclude this series of blogs by asking you, “Why should/shouldn’t you embrace change?” and collectively, “Why should/shouldn’t my local church embrace change?” If you and/or I do not embrace the upcoming change, we, like our old Jewish forefathers and former Catholic saints will be versatile and adjust as much as our systems and structures allow and call it revival and renewal, but if we embrace change, we, like our first century brethren, peers in Jesus Christ, joint members in this royal Priesthood of Believers, will see great things, experience creative newness, and fulfill God’s provincial plan.