Change is incredibly difficult. We will hold on to pain and painful situations far too long because the fear of change is greater than the pain of staying where we are. This is true in personal situations. This is true in “corporate” or “community” situations. It is true culturally.
We are at key moments of change culturally and in American Christianity. The trouble is this: we are allowing ourselves to be shoved over the cliff rather than understand the changes needed and we make the adjustments, hard as they are, BEFORE plunging over the cliff.
The American Church doesn’t have to go through these motions we currently see. Yet, we do. We have all the ability in the world… and in the Kingdom of God (more importantly)… to see the changes needed and make them, as painful as they are. Yet, we claw and scrap and try desperately to hold on to the last vestiges of our “popularity” and “power.” It’s an ugly scene, but that’s what we are witnessing.
The past several years have been movements of change for our church. They have been hard. Let’s face it: it’s still hard. It’s not easy on anyone, and that includes me. These are things that have stirred in my spirit and the changes we’ve made have been necessary, and it is my prayer we’ve done them by the leading of the Spirit. Still, it’s hard. Ministry is different. WAY different. Worship services are different because of location. Things we do in ministry flow differently. It is HARD.
And it is necessary. When we walk through these difficult steps now, we will be in a place of preparation when hard changes come by necessity for others. We can lead the way. We can be that prophetic voice that helps others through the changes they chose not to go through at a particular time, and now they face changes by pain.
Friends, none of this has been easy. It’s not been easy on any of us. If the perception has been that’s it easy on me, or it’s precisely what I want, forgive me. I go through a lot of prayer, sleepless nights, and arguing with God on all of this. Yet, I want to walk with him more desperately than I want to stay the same.
This church has stepped into a new era that is exciting. Yet, we’re still by the Jordan River. We’ve just crossed. There is a whole new land to take. LOOK! More hard work!
But we’ve done all of this in the power of the Spirit, and we will CONTINUE to do all this in the power of the Spirit. Let us move bravely forward. It will be his presence guiding us. Let us not be defined as in the past by what our “jobs” were… Let us be defined by who we are as the BODY OF CHRIST following the leading of the Spirit. Let us be people of the Spirit, soaking in his presence, and finding new roles in this new land.
I pastor incredibly brave people. People of deep courage and conviction. People who have chosen to walk through a lot of painful process and change. The next things for us are wonderful, powerful, and will keep us leaning where we need to lean: on Christ.
Let us move bravely forward!