Change Is Good…Right?

Change is good…right?

President’s Page by Bill Probasco

 

Another year, another resolution made. That’s what we do at New Year’s. We make a resolution to change for the better by…dieting; quitting smoking; reading our Bible more; exercising; etc.

 

But the start of each year also brings changes around us, whether that is a calendar year, school year, or sports year. Students move from grade to grade and the teachers change. Subjects change. Students that were in the class might move away and others might move in. Sports teams go through similar changes. College teams see stars graduate and underclassmen move up. Professional teams lose stars to retirement or free agency. Companies hire new employees and promote (or replace) others. I’ve mentioned that I coach. Many times I’ve seen my players graduate to another division, move away, or maybe have an injury that prevents them from participating. Other times my players have improved so much from one season to the next, what may have been a weakness last season is a new-found strength for our team this season.

 

Our churches are the same way. Members change. Some may move; some may graduate to their heavenly reward; others may no longer have the same level of commitment due to family, job, health, or even interest. As I look back through our church’s member directory from 2005, I see several people that are no longer an active part of our church, and recognize new faces that have stepped into various positions. I also notice different programs that aren’t the same today as they were only 10 years ago. My church has changed. I’m sure every church has changed over the last 10 years.

 

So the question is, can I be steadfast if I am not the same as I was? Can our churches be steadfast if they aren’t the same? Maybe my theme verse, Jeremiah 17:8, which talks of being a tree planted by the waters, implies we are to be unchanging or immovable. Certainly we must hold true to our core belief in Christ Jesus. But I don’t see this verse implying change is bad. I see it as God telling us that things will change — we will change — and we are to stand tall through the changes. When the environment around a tree changes, the tree either adapts or it dies.

 

God expects us to change. Let me say that again…God expects us to change. In fact, GOD EXPECTS OUR CHURCHES TO CHANGE! Before I cause any civil unrest, let’s think about this.

 

First of all, we shouldn’t be changing our fundamental doctrine. Let me get that clarified right up front. But if our churches don’t adapt to the times and our surroundings, we become out of place. I have seen churches

unwilling to adjust their youth ministry — or unwilling to have a youth ministry — and soon it’s impossible to find anyone there under the age of 45. Other churches

revamp worship so much that their older members feel marginalized and unwelcomed. Still others fail to recognize the demographics have changed in their neighborhood and miss out on serving the wider community.

 

As we enter into this New Year, I pray that each church will grow strengthened in its service for the Lord. I also pray that all of us will view the inevitable changes that will come in 2015 as opportunities to grow, not reasons to complain that things are changing. If God is going to provide a chance for our churches to flourish, let’s steadfastly step forward in faith and see where God will lead us. As Seventh Day Baptists, I pray this can be our New Year’s resolution: we must be steadfast in our

commitment to share the message of Christ in an ever-changing world. Why?…because change is good!

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