Posts Tagged ‘change’
Brian Croft is part of a denomination that has undergone significant changes, often at congregational level, over recent years. He offers some thoughts on how a pastor might choose his battles:
Pastors who walk into existing churches are quickly burdened by needed changes to improve the church. Where the challenge is for most of us is when and how those changes need to be brought. If you are wondering how to choose those battles wisely, first receive this most excellent counsel I received as I entered my first Senior Pastor position at a church clearly needing change and revitalization, “Preach the Word, sacrifically love those people, and do not change anything for a while.”
Three particular counsels follow.
Would you like a real change?
Would you like new surroundings? A new house, a new room, or new clothes?
Would you like new relationships? New friends, new colleagues, even a new family?
Would you like a new you? A new appearance, enlargements and reductions, a new nose or chin, a new waistline, or renewed health?
Would you like a new life? A completely fresh start, being a different person altogether, sweeping away everything that is, leaving it all behind, and starting over entirely?
One way or another, many of us would like – or may even long for – a makeover of some kind. We would truly love to change something about us and our lives.
Most of these changes are – at best – what you might call ‘cosmetic.’ That is, they are mere changes in appearance, manipulating externals without ever altering reality. As a result, they rarely make us happy. If you like, many of the changes we try to make are like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic: making a doomed vessel more pleasing to the eye.
You probably know by experience that such changes make little lasting difference. At best, they solve problems temporarily. At worst, they lock us into a downward spiral of more and more extreme changes, each one more desperate, expensive, or humiliating than the last. In either case, they present no final solution to problems.
Why is this?
It is because whatever you do and wherever you go and whenever you change outwardly, what you carry within you remains the same. We carry our issues, our personalities, our problems, our sins, with us wherever we go.
What you need is the most radical change of all: an extreme makeover that lies utterly outside your own power of will or money to accomplish, but a change that will once-and-for-all alter everything about you for the better. It is a change that begins on the inside and works its way out, radically altering in lasting fashion our thoughts, feelings, desires, words, and deeds.
It is called “new creation.” It begins with the essential you, the heart and soul of who and what you are, and – over the course of time – works itself through your whole being. It is a new life that will reach its climax with a new body in a new heavens and a new earth.
Would you like such a change? Do you long for an extreme makeover of this sort? This is no gimmick or fable, no lie or scam. This is God’s own truth, his free and sincere offer: “If anyone is in Christ,” says the Bible, “he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Would you like a fresh start? There is nothing to pay, no forms to fill out, no waiting list, and guaranteed results. Faith in Christ brings new life in him. It is the only true solution to the otherwise empty search for a new you.