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Changing Times

I Cor. 7:31  this world in its present form is passing away.
Mark 2:22  And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.”

Being a former history teacher, I am aware that the most pervasive trait of history is change.  And the characteristic of our time is rapid change.  It is strange how we view change.  We expect change and see the absence of change as being a problem.  For example, growth is change.  In almost every area of our lives we believe growth to be good.  We look for growth in our children (physical and otherwise), our businesses, our cities, and our net worth.

However, we also have an aversion to change.  We get comfortable with the way things are–our lives, our routine–and it is often unsettling when things change.  In the church, we often seek refuge from the rapid change around us.  We look for something that is secure, to which we can attach and anchor our lives.  The Bible assures us that God is that anchor—“Jesus  Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb.13:8).

However, we have the mission of taking the unchanging good news of Jesus Christ to a rapidly changing world.  And to do that in a way that enables our secular contemporaries to hear, we have to change our methods in ways that pull and stretch us and move us out of our comfort zones.  The fact is that more and more people around us find “church” a foreign language, an unfamiliar world.  If we are faithful to God’s call to “make disciples” we must do it in a language they understand.

The two primary ways our culture communicates is through music (a very different music from classic church music) and technology.  People are very visual and feeling oriented.  They have short attention spans and expect things to move quickly.  Whether we believe that good or bad, it is a fact.  And we must deal with it if they are to hear what we have to say about Jesus.

All of this has profound implications for the way we do church–worship, ministry, etc. It calls for changes that are very difficult for most of us, who are comfortable with the way church has always been for us.

I believe the leadership of our church is committed to sharing Jesus with those unchurched, pre-Christians (as they are sometimes called) around us.  At least we say we are, according our purpose statement.  To do that will call us to some costly choices and actions that will greatly change the church as we know it.

Please pray that we will be obedient to Jesus and walk closely with Him.

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