We should pray for men who fear God more than man. We should seek to be leaders who aren’t afraid of change. The Pharisees were stuck because they refused to change. In the end, all they held sacred—the Temple, the Sabbath, the rules, the rituals—were all laid aside. They died for the wrong things. They lost the meaning and purpose of their faith.
We can’t let that happen. We must rise above ourselves, our prejudices, our preconceived ideas and ask God for fresh power and boldness to face the times in which we live.
Since I’ve been in ministry, much has changed.
– We have gone from all singing the same songs to multiple forms and styles of worship.
– We have gone from everyone primarily using the KJV to multiple translations.
– We have gone from traditional buildings to buildings of all shapes and sizes.
– We have gone from suits and ties to a more casual look.
– We have moved from piano and pipe organ to full orchestras or bands.
– We have gone from one minister of music standing behind the pulpit waving his arms to praise teams.
Those who have changed with the times (but have not changed the message of the gospel) have survived and thrived. Those who are stuck in “we’ve always done it that way” have plateued or they are dying. Eight-hundred churches close their doors every year in my denomination. Why? We refuse to change. We refuse to see a lost world. We refuse to let go of our petty preferences, plans, and positions.
Change will make some current leaders of churches disqualified. They have become like Pharisees, stuck in their ways, and they are dragging the church down with them. They may feel they are right, but they are dead wrong.
What hinders the average church? Why is it so hard for churches and leaders to change?
1) Some are more concerned about what comes out of denominational headquarters than what comes in a prayer closet.
2) Some are hindered by a Constitution and By-laws that are held in a higher position of authority than the Word of God.
3) Some because of pettiness. They can’t see the forest for the trees.
4) Some because they try so hard to relate, that they never do.
5) Some are fascinated with fads. They are constantly changing and not anchored to the rock.
6) Some are fascinated with the past. We are to remember and build on the past, but not worship it.
7) Some are afraid of power brokers, committees, or getting fired.
8) Some are always preaching against the sins of the flesh, but never bother to mention the sins of the Spirit like gossip, envy, strife, jealousy, bitterness, anger, etc.
9) Some have left evangelism and missions to professionals. They talk it but never do it. They send money but never say, “Here am I, send me.”
10) Some think revival is antiquated. They are set in their ways. They sit, soak, and sour.
11) Some have failed to guard the unity and fellowship of the church.
12) Some have compromised on moral and ethical issues. That which the Word says is black-and-white is just grey to them.
13) Some are just full of pride. They are impressed with their degrees, facilities, programs, or history.
14) Some lack respect for the authority of the pastor. God calls pastors. Sheep need a shepherd. The last time I checked, sheep don’t tell a shepherd what to do; they follow the shepherd.
15) Some pad their statistics to look good at all cost.
You can come up with your own. All of the above, in my opinion, are signs of a church or a leader who is afraid of change. Until you get over the fear of change, it’s going to be hard to justify calling yourself a leader.
One thought on “Leaders Aren’t Afraid of Change (Part 2)”
“The snake that cannot shed it’s skin perishes. Likewise those spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirits”-Friedrich Nietzsche
I was beginning to wonder if the topic is about “progressive theology” in the progressive era. I of course encourage the use of today’s technology and social media in order to further theological conversations. It is common knowledge that the Church has continued to resist most of the social and cultural changes throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but can the Church be reconciled with modern civilization?
I am of the view that Christianity possesses a permanent and absolute essence, it is not a living and ever-changing process. I think it is legitimate for Christianity to want to evolve but by allowing modernity into the Church aren’t we stripping the kernel of essential Christianity? Can we reformulate Christian thought in ways that would make it more consistent with the modern age?
I agree that a major hindrance with the Church’s way of doing ministry is their refusal to change. The out of date practices may alienate and confuse the unchurched. Unfortunately, in the liberal church, even the doctrines of the Bible are allowed to change. Yet Jesus Christ warned us that old wine skins become rigid and brittle, not flexing enough to contain His new wine. I see the point you are trying to drive through Pastor Catt. In our efforts to control our environment, from which we derive a false sense of security, we have put personal comfort ahead of the needs of those people outside the church. We have to be willing to change to do God’s bidding. God bless you.