Change is hard.
Yes, I’m writing this with our congregation in mind and the decisions we’ve been praying about recently in regard to our Sunday morning schedule. But it’s not just current decisions. We’ve made big decisions in recent years to hire a youth director, host an intern, hire a second pastor, and make significant upgrades to our facility. And it wouldn’t surprise me if we have more big decisions to make in the future. Change has marked this congregation in recent years, and it may continue that way.
No, I’m not writing this to say what we should or shouldn’t do when it comes to our morning schedule. In fact, by the time this is published, we will have already met on Sunday.
What I would like to do is share with you about change in general. Change is hard. I understand that, and I often struggle with it too. But the operative word there is “struggle.” In that context, struggle carries a negative connotation. You see, I would argue that change shouldn’t have to be as hard as it is for us.
The Bible is clear that “change” is a normal and expected part of life as a Christian. In Romans 12, Paul exhorts us to be transformed by the renewal of our mind by the mercies of God. In other words, God’s mercy brings transformation. Change! We grow in Him, and we are changing more and more into His likeness all the time throughout our entire lives. Paul gives examples of that in the verses following in Romans 12. We seek God’s good will, we’re not arrogant, we use our different gifts, we encourage others to use their different gifts, we learn to love genuinely, to hate what is evil and to hold fast to what is good. We outdo one another in showing honor, we’re zealous and fervent in serving the Lord, and we are marked by joy, hope, patience, prayer, generosity, hospitality, harmony, humility, forgiveness, and peace.
That’s quite a list, and I confess my failure to change my ways and perfectly live like Paul describes. I cling to God’s Word of forgiveness and mercy, and I thank Him for how He is changing me in these areas to be more like Him.
Scripture teaches that the body of Christ collectively changes too. One text that comes to mind is Ephesians 2:19-22. In those verses, Paul tells us that by grace through faith, we are changed from strangers and aliens to fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s house. We are built on the Cornerstone, and the whole structure, joined together, “grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” We change. The local congregation is a microcosm of the Church, and I pray we are growing, changing. Numerical growth is a secondary topic. I pray that first and foremost, we as a congregation are growing in faith and love for God and one another. That’s what matters!
And as we follow Christ and grow in Him, we seek His will, as individuals and families, and yes, as a congregation too. The primary question ever before us is not whether we should change or not. If we are in Christ, we already are changing, and that’s a good thing. The question for us to pray about and discern together is: What is God’s will for our congregation?
I believe that God, through His Word, works through the congregation. I’m so thankful for where God has brought us, and I’m so excited to see His will accomplished in our congregation. As we remain in Christ and His Word, His way, His will, will be good, and I thank Him for that assurance!
“Have Thine Own Way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.” – Adelaide Pollard
Growing with you,