Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.
Today's Devotional Insight...
Leading through Change
Change is a word that causes most churches to cringe at its mention. In other facets of life, people endure change, and it is usually embraced, because most societies believe in order to become better and more productive, change must take place. Email is a great example of this. A person can quickly contact anyone around the world through email, and this has not always been the case, so there had to be a change from using paper, pens, and stamps to using a computer, keyboard, and the internet to communicate with people. Most people today have embraced this change. Communication is still the goal; however, the means to the end has changed.
Today many pastors and ministry leaders of established churches find themselves stuck between change and their congregation, or as the old saying goes, ”stuck between a rock and hard place.” Change is inevitable in the church. As the culture changes, the way we seek to reach the culture must change, too. It is essential to remember, however, that while methods and approach change within the church, the end is always the same. As the Body of Christ, we seek to glorify God in all we do by worshiping Him for who He is. Through our worship of Him and our understanding of what He has done in our lives, we seek to reach a lost and dying world for the sake of the Gospel and to make disciples of Jesus. This is our purpose, and it must never change! However, how we accomplish this beautiful mission has to look different today than it did even ten years ago.
As pastors, we stand before the church every Sunday, seeking to lead God’s people before His throne of grace in worship of Him, and to be honest, this task today seems to be quite daunting as styles and preferences of people are all over the map. Culture is shifting and changing rapidly. Tradition, if we’re not careful, can overcome our purpose.
However, if we seek to have a church made up of multiple generations and ethnicities, we must understand that our method of sharing the Gospel and worshiping God may need to look differently than it did fifty years ago, or maybe even five years ago. If we seek to reach people within this digital age, we may need to rethink our use of digital means within the realm of sharing the Gospel or aiding in worship. Maybe the more digital means need to be used. Maybe less digital means need to be used. The idea of leading through change is daunting, but I believe that change can take place within the church for the glory of God. This article is not seeking to provide a cookie-cutter model for change; instead, the goal of this article is to lead pastors through necessary steps to help each of us discern if change is necessary, and if so, how to lead through the change. What that being said, there are three essential ideas that need to be in the minds of all pastors as we seek to lead God’s people through change:
1. We must constantly be in prayer. If we are truly seeking to glorify God, we must truly seek and discern God’s will. Change for the sake of change is absolutely pointless. Creating change in order to better lead God’s people to glorify Him and to better advance the Kingdom of God is essential. Too often, pastors are most guilty of wanting to be on the cutting edge of what is taking place today, and trying to live on the edge because it is ”cool” or self-gratifying is absolutely pointless and ultimately is idolatry, because the newest trend ultimately begins to rule and reign your ministry and life. Paul admonishes the church in Ephesus to pray for all of the saints, and if we, as pastors, are praying for all of the saints, our heart’s desire will be to see that we do everything in our power to make worship accessible to each one of them (Ephesians 6:18). It is only through prayer that change is truly realized and understood to be needed.
(To read the full article, click here.)
Today’s Pastoral Resource...
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