Recently, I decided it was time for a change. As I approached my 63rd birthday, I began to think I should make some changes in the way I live. I have always drove Morris automobiles, and I have owned a Morris convertible, a Morris truck, a Morris woody wagon, a 2 and 4 door Morris sedan, and I knew I was stuck in a “Morrisâ€ rut.
I decided it was time to break the mold and live on the wild side and buy a Studebaker, or maybe something exotic like a 1959 Rambler. But to my demise, I found myself back on the internet searching for a Morris panel truck. I just could not take the change. And that brings me to my point for this weekâ€™s article: we do not like change, neither you nor I, and as a pastor I found, not even the church.
I found that the church resists any change in the outlook of its members, and I read some interesting quotes that I would like to share with you. Thomas G. Bandy wrote, “The real world is a world of chaos.
Culture is changing so quickly, with so much diversity, in so many simultaneous directions, and using so many learning methods that church groups organized around traditional principles canâ€™t keep up.
They find themselves spending more and more energy lamenting change, resisting change, struggling with change, expressing anger about change, and desperately trying to manage change, or just plain surviving change. Change, however will not go away.â€
“Churches are going out of business because they refuse to change. Any church that doesnâ€™t shift from “ministry as status quoâ€ to “ministry as mission outpostâ€ will die or become hopelessly irrelevant. (Tom Clegg and Warren Bird).
Kent Hunter writes, “We discovered that up to 80 percent of church members believe that the primary purpose of the church is to provide a place for fellowship where Christians can share Godâ€™s love with one another rather than reach out to those who are unchurched.â€
I admonish you not to fear change, but seek a new vision, a new mission, and a new mandate, with a new way of thinking. The majority of churches in America have plateaued or declined, and it is only the 1 church out of 20 that is growing by conversion growth.
Barna tells us that the USA is the worldâ€™s third largest mission field with 195 million unchurched Americans. Only China and India have more unchurched people, and that is rapidly changing, and changing for the better.
And that brings me back to my Morris syndrome, we need to be cured, set free, and changed from our old “stick in the mudâ€attitude. The Bible tells me in 2 Cor. 5:17 that, “we are new creations, the old has gone, and the new has come.â€ And that sounds like a change for the better; change that should be shared, and change that should be encouraged. It is a change that will excite and move you.
So I guess it is time to let the Morris go, give my leisure suit away, and quit saying “coolâ€ all the time. Then let God take over and change me to look like him, act like him, and join a church that reflects his character. Change, it can be a good thing.
For more information on how you can change in Christ call Pastor Tilley at 432-207-0015.