Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Change or Die

I opened my PO Box with the usual anticipation of finding those bright red envelopes from Netflix (more on this later), only to find my latest copy of "Fast Company Magazine". I don't really subscribe to Fast Company. My airline miles ran out. And instead of letting all those useless miles disappear, I accepted the airline's generous offer to subscribe to magazines with airlines points. Anyway, in Black and Red print, the cover of Fast Company said, "CHANGE OR DIE." I placed the magazine among the others cluttering my coffee table until I could ignore it no longer.

The gist of the article draws a parallel between how difficult it is (if not impossible) for people to change their lifestyle when they are told by their physician, "you must... or you will likely die." If change is so difficult for us when we face the reality of death, is it any wonder that change is so difficult for organziations like the church? Furthermore, the belief that incremental change can be less painful and result in the same outcome over time is a myth. "Change or Die" pretty much sums up the reality of life in the church.

The problem is, my church doesn't like to change anymore than I do. And just like I don't like hearing my doctor tell me, " you must... or you will likely die", my congregation doesn't like it when their pastor tells them in no uncertain terms that the world is changing and we essentially have two choices. It used to bother me alot. I'd be lying if I told you it still didn't. But, I've come to the realization that perhaps one of the most redemptive aspects of my job is telling my congregation the truth about their future whether they like it or not. I still don't have to like it.


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