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.