The One Thing That’s Constant is…

Change. People love it or hate it. Most people don’t care for it! We are creatures of habit, and we don’t like it when something disrupts our equilibrium.

Today’s blog post is taken from the book Who Stole My Church by Gordon MacDonald. This was required reading in one of my doctoral classes. It contains the story of a small church that is struggling to adapt to its changing community. As readers, we get to listen in on the conversations of several church members and their pastor. Some are more in favor of changing than others are.

As a former pastor I served with said, “Healthy things grow. Growing things change.” Pastor Gregg Simmons was wise and on target with that observation. If a church is healthy, it will grow. If it grows, it will change. It may not always be comfortable, but change is something we must deal with in the church if we are to reach people for Christ. Let’s listen in on the author, Gordon MacDonald, and his imaginary group of church leaders:

What has to be done to reach out to lost and struggling people and bring them the love of Jesus?

…So here’s the bottom line in all of this. Down through two thousand years, you have only one unchanging thing in the church: the gospel of Jesus that calls people to forgiveness of sins and to participation in a community of people who want to serve each other and go forward to make a statement about God’s love in their world. But the ways in which people organize themselves to actualize this one unchanging thing is changing all the time. Almost nothing can stay the same for long if you want to connect with people and introduce them to Jesus Christ.

“Let me end the evening with a quote that’s attributed to Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE,” I said. Welch wrote somewhere, “When the rate of change inside an organization is slower than the rate of change outside the organization, the end of that organization is in sight.”

Are there any changes your church is making that are making you uncomfortable? Are you resisting change that may be necessary to propel your church forward? As a leader in the church, please recognize that you have influence and that people look to you to gauge their reaction to change. Help your pastor and staff by embracing change, and helping others you lead to navigate the changes taking place.

Remember, healthy things grow, and growing things change. Let’s commit to change with the times.


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