Where I go is where I've been
This post may have broad application or it may not hold water. That will be my only qualifying statement.
I was in a conversation recently that sent my mind whirling about change and why I am often not as comfortable with it as I should be. I need to be comfortable with change because it happens to me every single day. Areas of stability are an illusion and the normal is a veneer...change is my lot this side of heaven and may continue to be in eternity. We have undergone massive changes as a church body especially in the past 5 years. We have not undergone changes for the sake of change, we have changed to do what God wants us to do: to make more and better disciples of Christ. Some of these changes have been easy for me to take. Some have sent me to shake up the ministries that I am involved in. None of them have been perfectly implemented, but all of them have the end goal in mind.
So, why when there is "another change" there do I say (in my mind anyway), "Again...?" I think that one of the reasons is that my normal experience with churches has been to keep doing the same thing in largely the same way and hope that it produces what we think it should. I have never been in a church that relentlessly (and I do mean relentlessly) focuses on "more" and "better" disciples at the same time. If I had been a member of bodies like this in the past then change would have been part of the routine...part of the norm. The only thing I would expect is more change and, if nothing happened for a while, I would start to get a little nervous wondering if we were asleep at the wheel.
I also think I focus more on the change rather than the goal. If people are not coming to Christ from a life far from Him as a result of the ministries of the church then there is something wrong. And we need to measure how effective we are. If people are not deepening their walk with God as a result of the ministries of the church then there is something wrong. And we need to measure how effective we are. And here's the rub for me: I have been (and may be in the future) part of an ineffective ministry. I have been (and may be in the future) an ineffective minister. And that hurts. But thank God it hurts.
Rather than focus on the change or let my pride get in the way I need to align myself with the goal rather than with a ministry. I need to measure myself against how effective I am at making more and better disciples especially as I minister with the church. Then and only then will my attitude change from "Ugh...not again!" to "God, I love you. Please help me be a more vital part of what is happening here."