1.Change is probably one issue in the Christian church today that can cause the most dissention. I’ve written about change before here.
2.Allan Nelson and Gene Appel are both pastors. and both have written about healthy church change in their book How to Change Your Church Without Killing It. I admire both men because they look to the Bible first regarding how Scripture treats “new” before analyzing and strategies that would/could improve church life. Here are a few Scriptural sources regarding new things and new directions.
3.Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things" (Psalm 98:1)
4."See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you" (Isaiah 42:9)
5."Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19)
6."Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind" (Isaiah 65:17)
7."Neither do men pour wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved" (Matthew 9:1 )
8."The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, 'What is this? A new teaching-and with authority!'" (Mark 1:27)
9."A new command I give you; Love one another" (John 13:34)
10"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:6-7)
11. Nelson and Appel explain the overall impression we get from these and other similar statements from the Bible is that "God refuses to be hemmed in by man-made ideas and even past proven methods. His newness continues long beyond creation. What haven't changed over the centuries are his desire to do new things and our human nature to resist" (p. 11).
12. In short, if our desire is to follow hard after God, we would be wise to carefully evaluate our understanding of change. As leaders of churches, this will include leading congregations in the direction of both formulating and embracing a biblically based "theology of new things."
13. Unfortuntately what we often hear in our own houses of worship are the words, “But that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
As Christians we should not fear change. We should embrace it. Change might just be the Lord’s way of moving His plan along. Who do you want to be? The person causing a road block, or the person filling in the potholes to allow traffic to move along speedily?
Have a happy and blessed Thurday. You can find other bloggers who 13 on Thursday here.