Are You Ready for Some Change?
How do you feel about change? Are you comfortable when it happens? Do you feel upset when change is happening all around you? And what about change in your local church? Are you ready for it? These are all tough things to address; but as the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said: “Change is the only constant in life!” Let me share some recent events that caused me to focus on why we need to be ready … and willing to accept … change in our local churches.
My September/October Interpreter magazine arrived a few days ago, and there it was on the cover – “Navigating Change” – a whole edition focused on change! I looked through a few pages and read the following: “Ask almost any church member – do you want your church to grow? Certainly, most people will respond. But ask if they want that same church to change; and watch them backtrack, stutter, sputter, and wonder aloud why a good thing needs to change.” But don’t worry, I found an article on the five clues for successfully changing while growing – Those would be: (1) Embrace change as a God thing; (2) Keep an eye on the vision; (3) Value spiritual gifts – put them to use; (4) Seek service, not security; and (5) Know it’s all about relationships.
As we begin our charge conference season, I’ve already heard how churches are focusing on growing … and doing something different … changing!! Whether it’s discerning the way forward through strategic planning at the church council level, or just reaching out and trying something new where there’s a need in the community – it’s all about change … good change … positive change … growing change. I’m sure we’ll hear more as we continue our charge conferences and I’ll let you know the impact.
Finally, just recently, I was blessed to represent the laity of the Alexandria District at Bishop Sharma D. Lewis’ Welcoming Service in Richmond; and I can assure you that we are in for some change! Bishop Lewis chose 2 Timothy 1:6 as her scriptural text – “And for this reason, I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying of my hands.” She then proceeded to remind everyone that we all have gifts, we all need to utilize them, and we all need to be re-energized through the Holy Spirit. This will lead to change – are you ready?
John Meeuwissen, Lay Leader