Recently, our pastor has been talking to our church about change—never the message but sometimes the method of ministry. As one who does not like change, I have been thinking and praying about my responsibility to follow. I must admit what those of you who know me well already know, I prefer to lead!
Don’t misunderstand that statement. I have no desire to lead the church, be the pastor, or sit among the deacons. But God has chosen to give me some leadership abilities and those abilities color the way I look at situations, problems—change. When new approaches or a different way of doing things are mentioned, my mind automatically goes into “how would I do it” mode. I do not usually struggle with small changes. It is the big ones that grind on my nerves like fingernails run across a chalkboard.
For example, I remember when churches began to move from the hymnal, which I consider the most holy book of Christianity after the Holy Bible (kidding), to praise and worship music. Music is a huge part of my life, and it affected my entire view of going to church. To say I was not happy would be an understatement. Forced to make a decision—be angry or worship—I chose to worship, but it was a too long and painful process. Although I still much prefer hymns to the contemporary music, I have learned to like a few pieces. However, nothing lifts my heart toward heaven like the sound of a congregation softly singing Sweet Hour of Prayer or Great is Thy Faithfulness.
Change is all about choice and attitude. Those words roll easily off my fingers and onto the page, but putting them into practice, living them out in the reality of church life and meaning them from the heart—well, that is a little more difficult.
In God’s perfect timing, just as I’m trying to convince myself that I can deal with the upcoming change whatever it might be, God’s sense of humor strikes again. My Bible reading for yesterday took me to Numbers chapter sixteen. Yikes! That chapter is an amazing treatise on why I should be obedient to those God has put in charge, leadership and authority over the local church. Of course the number one reason is always because God said so. However, this chapter brings it home like a 3D movie. If you want the ground never to open up and swallow you, this might be a good chapter to keep in mind!
So, I am in change mode. I want to go where God is going. I do not want to get left behind because I stubbornly refuse to change. Will it be easy? Probably not! Will I enjoy it? I’m open to that! But, the biggest question is, “Am I going to be obedient to God?” The answer to that one must be YES! Go, be filled with joy, be changed, and don’t forget to look up.