ENDURING FAITH-DEALING WITH CHANGE

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by Steve Dunn

I have the privilege of providing consulting and leadership training to local churches, often churches who are facing demise and are finally getting to the point of thinking that it is time to make some changes.  We generally begin with some hard-core reflection on the church’s past and present–trying to identify a strategy that will help them reverse the trend.  What needs to change in order to remove the barriers between us and the people of the community so that our church can grow.

Invariably, however, we reach our first roadblock.  We begin identifying the things about the church that are creating barriers to reach and involve new people in the church. Things that logically we need to change or remove if we are to be faithful to help proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.

Change, yes that’s the word.  It is the strategy.  But then we find ourselves facing a barrier that can defeat the whole process of reviving and renewing a church.  People inherently understand that change will be required but don’t want the change to be too great.  They don’t want any change that require them to change personally.

Here are the clues that tell you the church will be highly resistant to change.

  1. We are family around here and want to preserve that family feeling.
  2. That’s not the way we do it in our little church.
  3. We like our little church.
  4. I just think we need a dose of that old time religion.
  5. We won’t know everyone like we used to.
  6. We need to get the congregation to vote on it.
  7. We never have done it that sway before.
  8. We tried that once and we failed.

I think was one of Walt Kelly’s cartoon characters that says “the status quo is a definition for the mess we is in.”  One of the true enemies of gospel advancement is the worship of the status quo.  You may not like the word “worship” used this way but how else do you explain the almost irrational, sometimes biblically disobedient clinging to the past even when the past is dragging the church into ineffectiveness?

Are any of those eight comments heard in your church?  Remember the First Commandment:”You shall have no other gods before me.” – Deuteronomy 5

© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at sdunnpastor@gmail.com 

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