Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Are we really cutting edge?

"This moment contains all moments." - C.S. Lewis

At this moment in history, we see more churches in decline than ever before. Sadly, many do not realize that decline is the only possible outcome for a church that doesn't pursue the right kind of change. The reason... change is necessary to have a healthy church. In the past 8 years that I have been pastor at FBC, we have experienced many changes together. Why? Because it is a proven fact that no church, big or small, new or old, can remain vital without it. Yet, few churches attempt to embrace, understand or know how to effectively engage it. But, for the sake of the church, we need to deal with change on a regular basis. We need to figure out the difference between positive and negative change, become aware of the areas that do and don't need change, learn the right and wrong ways to move people through change, and make the choice to begin leading our churches through the right kind of change.

When I travel around the state and around the country it has become apparent to me that far too many churches have allowed their outdated or preferred methodologies to take on greater value than God's truth and purpose. Rather than change practices or programs to align with God's Word, they try to "proof text" scripture to support ineffective practices and programs that have not won a soul to Jesus in years. This creates a powerless and a pointless church. They haven't walked away from the idea of God, but they have not given up the ritualistic, "secret handshake", country club style and approach that so many churches find themselves invested in today. Not so at FBC. We are working every week to stay on the cutting edge of new ideas which are effective, but do not in any way compromise scripture or the mission of the Lord.

Here is what I know to be true: If we are to remain effective in reaching and ministering to the lost, we must remember culture is always changing, and even though our message must never change. To be effective, we must be willing to change our means of communicating this powerful message. We must find new and creative ways of communicating the gospel message to a Bibilically and spiritually illiterate world. After all, this moment is all we have; it will define us, so let's use it for what really matters.Together we must choose to be more, do more, and give more for the glory of God!