My church just voted in a new pastor. (I wrote about our former pastor’s retirement HERE.) Since the recent vote (which was very close to unanimous) I have been pondering how the body of Christ handles change and new seasons. These four responses to change come to mind when uncertainty is looming:
Apply these same four responses to your personal life and any changes God may be bringing your way, whether it is getting a new pastor or something else in your circumstances. Are you freaking out? fleeing? following? Or facilitating?
The way that a church body responds to change in the church is a matter of the church’s COLLECTIVE hearts. In other words, to navigate the new fresh waters will require unity - unity with one-another.
The way that you personally respond to change is a matter of YOUR heart. Navigating the new fresh waters requires unity - your unity with Christ as you submit to His leadership.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Ephesians 4:16 “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
John 17:23 “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Ask The Lord to search your heart and reveal to you anything about your thoughts, beliefs, and desires (which are the core of your heart, everything about you that is immaterial) that are causing you to freak out, flee, or follow. Ask Him to empower you by His Spirit to be a facilitator in the change process. In order to examine those things that prevent you from being a facilitator, ask yourself some good questions. Good questions draw out the heart! For example:
What am I afraid of?
What do I want that I am not getting?
What is the worst thing that could happen?
What do I put my trust in?
What do I hope for?
What am I worried about?
What are my thoughts towards about this situation revealing about me?
What are my beliefs about this situation revealing about me?
What are my desires in this situation revealing about me?
Am I THANKFUL?
That list will get you started. When God reveals sin in your heart, repent and receive His grace. When we repent and receive forgiveness, unity (ours with God) is restored.
Imagine a church full of repentant people - people asking themselves and each other good heart-provoking questions for the purpose of unity with Christ, and then unity with one another! It starts in our individual hearts, and only then can our collective hearts exist in unity. Unity will provoke a healthy response to change as we become facilitators who have stopped freaking out, fleeing, and following!
As facilitators, we can embrace change with excitement, anticipation, and hope!
Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”