Do you like to change?
I cannot tell you how often I have seen people who face change resist it, but in resisting it, something else is often occurring. When I have resisted change, it often meant that I preferred the way things were, even when they were unhealthy and dysfunctional.
Changing from how I was to how I am now is a HUGE shift, but it is one I revel in daily, and it did not come without a great deal of resistance, not unlike the resistance I have seen in folks struggling to make ends meet, fearful of the future, and so forth.
Sometimes when people resist, they’re changing without even seeing it.
Here’s an example. A few months ago, our Blue River DS Rev. Bill Ritter assigned his pastors to cluster groups. In these cluster groups, we were assigned to read certain books. One of the posting elsewhere in the weekly bulletin is a product of one of the books we have read. The second one, I’m reading now, is entitled Canoeing the Mountains, and boy does it hit home. The author’s basic premise is that much of what we were taught in seminary has changed or is no longer applicable to today’s church.
As a pastor, that often proves quite humbling. You realize things about yourself and about the ministry to which you’re called. But in the end, it ends up being one thing.
Last Sunday, we approved our goals for 2018. Among those goals was a plan to develop the discipleship of our church. There’s a very simple reason for this. When a church is focused on making members, the church is often in decline. When a church is focused on making disciples, it is growing every single time.
Focusing on discipleship, however, represents change, and it is a necessary change so we are as effective as we can be in ministry in the 21st century. What used to be has died; what is becoming is at hand. What that looks like will be discovered in the discussion and its application.
I share all of this because that is why Paul was writing to the church at Thessalonica. In essence, adapting means trusting the process of where God is leading you.
I, for one, have learned to trust the process. In faith, hope and love, it is my sincerest desire that you will too.