Kathleen at “Church in a Circle” has finished her 12 post series called “Tomorrow’s Church.” The last post in the series is called “Tomorrow’s church – Part 12: It’s time to shift your mindset.” (There are links to all 12 posts in Kathleen’s series at the bottom of that last post.)
Kathleen’s last post in the series is all about change. Change. I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but change is not easy… it’s not comfortable… it’s not always pleasant. And, that’s just change in the life of one person. What happens when you multiply change over many people?
This is what Kathleen says about change among the church:
Change is happening in the church as we speak. You may or may not be aware of the simple church movement, the organic church movement, the missional movement. In the past month, I’ve attended two meetings in my city where entire denominations are exploring new, discipleship-centred models of church. There is a steady movement among God’s people worldwide towards a fresh expression of church, towards participation, engagement, involvement and empowerment. There is a rumbling discontent amongst pastors and churches, and a Godly longing to make disciples instead of filling pews. The majority of God’s people in every denomination are uncomfortably aware that the system is no longer working.
I agree with Kathleen. Change is happening. People recognize that there are problem, and many are addressing the problems. Certainly different people are addressing different problems, and they are addressing them in different ways. But, the thing is, change is happening.
Her post made be think about what happens when different churches (i.e., different groups of brothers/sisters in Christ) began to change. I’ve been part of a group that has been changing (continues to change) for several years. I’ve also observed others churches who have been changing also… and many of them (most?) have been changing differently than us.
So, what happens when a group of brothers and sisters in Christ are changing, but they are not changing in the way or in the speed that we think they should change? Or what happens when someone thinks that you should change in a different way or at a different speed than you are changing? (And, you are changing, right?)
Is that the time for strong proclamations, denouncements, taking sides, separating, shouts of heresy… Well, if you read some blogs or books or articles, you might think that’s the right response.
But, I think that’s the wrong response… completely wrong.
Instead, change… and change is always occurring, right?… change is a time for patience.
So, I definitely agree with Kathleen that churches are changing. As we see that change (whether it’s happening like we think it should or not), we must have patience… patience with God… patience with others… and patience with ourselves.