the weblog of Alan Knox

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes… and the church

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in discipleship, edification, fellowship, gathering | 3 comments

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes… and the church

No, I’m not writing this post about changes on this blog or even about changes in my own life. Our family has been through several changes over the last year or so, but I’ve already written about those.

This post is about changes and the church.

Over the last few years, I’ve come to expect two things when it comes to change and the church: 1) Change should be expected and constant, and 2) Change is not comfortable.

The church is people – God’s people gathered together. Since we are God’s people who are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and following Jesus Christ, we are in a constant state of change. We are growing in maturity (hopefully); our life situations are changing; God is continually working in and through us.

Put us together, and there is even more change. And, this doesn’t even count the people who are moving away, or new people who start gathering with us.

If we are truly interacting with one another when we gather with the church, then that interaction will change as well. Our relationships are changing, our struggles are changing, and our manner of following Jesus is changing. All of this adds up to even more change.

But, do we see this change reflected among the church, especially when we gather together? Oh, we may tweak something here or there, but, for the most part, it’s all the same week after week, month after month, year after year.

All of this indicates that the way we are meeting (generally among the church) does not actually reflect the people at all.

However, most people are fine with that. Why? Because change is uncomfortable. We want things to stay the same, especially when things are actually changing. The apparent lack of change makes us think that everything is fine. We want the distraction from real life.

But, that’s just it… it’s not real life.

And, if it’s not real life, then we’re not helping each other with real life. Putting on something that’s stable and unchanging (even if it’s “excellent”) is not beneficial to the growth and health of the church.

Yes, change is uncomfortable. But, our goal should never be to help people remain comfortable where they are. Our goal should always be to help one another understand where we are and where God is taking us (both as individuals and as a group). This is only possible if we embrace that change that we are all going through, and allow that change to be reflected as we gather together.

Of course, that can only happen if the people (all of us – one another) truly participate with one another as we gather together.


3 Comments

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  1. 5-31-2013

    scary stuff! :) but so true. good challenging encouragement. thank you.

    “This is only possible if we embrace that change that we are all going through, and allow that change to be reflected as we gather together.”

    I’m not even exactly sure what this could mean or a good example of what the reflection looks like — can you give an example?

  2. 6-2-2013

    Randi,

    It is scary at times.

    I can give you a specific example, and hopefully that will help. Today, my friend N. talked about a couple he knows who are separating/divorcing. No one else planned to talk about this today, but it’s something that’s going on in his life right now – and it’s something that has “changed” in his life in the last week or so. Because he was able to talk about that to the church and because the church was able to interact with him about this, the change was reflected in our gathering. If someone had planned our gathering and what we were going to talk about, then that change in his life would not have been part of our gathering.

    I hope that helps.

    -Alan

  3. 6-3-2013

    YES!!! I totally hear what you’re saying now.

    Great example!