In several books I've been reading and podcasts I've been listening to the subject of change has come up a lot lately. Change can be a scary word, especially in ministry circles. Many of us in churches try to avoid change at all costs. One church I was a part of years ago just about went crazy when the offering was moved to the end of the service. I mean, great googily moogily we're talking the end of the service! The ushers won't be able to sit out the sermon to count money. What's next?
We often look at change as being a negative, but it doesn't have to be that way. In John Maxwell's latest book Talent is Never Enough, he quotes former major league baseball manager Alvin Dark as saying, "There's no such thing as taking a pitcher out. There's only bringing another pitcher in." Maxwell elaborates further by pointing out that when you focus on taking one pitcher out you are focusing on the runs allowed and walks given, but that doesn't help you win the game. You should focus on what the new pitcher can do to help you win game.
Not only is change a good thing, but it's something we should seek out. In a recent episode of Pastor Rick Warren's podcast guest pastor Ed Young said, "If it ain't broke, break it." I think I need to be constantly changing the way I do children's ministry. Even though the kids and the ways they are taught may change, the message stays the same. In the same podcast, Warren points out that we may change the way we minister, but that we need to always focus on the things we know never change: God's word, God's truth, God's Promise, God's Character, God's Love.
This year has been a year of big changes for me, the latest being the challenge of finding a new church home. I can't say I was happy that the church plant we had worked with for 5 years was needing to close it's doors, but I am excited by the new possibilities God has in store.