Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Work of Change

It has been a few weeks since I have posted here. A lot of my post time has been spent on the other blog I write, Cortland Scripture Journey but I thought I would offer some thoughts here this morning. I returned last night from an overnight retreat where I was leading a group of men through a discussion about change. As the time went along I had an extreme amount of fun and learned something which I think is profound.

What I learned is most people are not afraid of change. It is only a small percentage of people who are afraid of change and who do not want to see change take place in their lives or their churches. So why is it that change is so difficult? Most people are not sure what it looks like to change, or what it takes to change. Second, most people are willing to settle for change rather than engage in transformation. The difference? Change will have to be done again. We change the tires our our cars, we change the clothes we wear, and that will have to be done again and again. Transformation is becoming something different than before. Transformation does not require repeating the same transition over and over again. That is not to say there won't be more transformation but there is not a need to transform the same thing twice if it is truly transformed. A butterfly will never again be a caterpillar.

Once people are opened up to the possibility of transformation and change most will continue on that path. There needs to be some nurture from those around and from a leader, nonetheless change can be accomplished.

Moreover, change and transformation must take place in the church today. What has happened in the church to this point is not all bad, simple it will not reach the world today we are called by God to be about the work of transformation. The way we conduct our business as the people of God must be done differently than it has in the past 100 years. I believe God is looking for men and women, clergy and lay, who are willing to allow themselves to be transformed for the transformation of the church. Once the church becomes a transforming place, God will use it to transform the world.

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