God has called the church to be the change agent in the world- Instead the world has changed the church. Most people do not like change. That simple fact is common in all of us. If we do not like change, why do it? Why do we run from it like the plague? First, let us address the issue of why change is necessary. There is an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” A glancing study of the Bible leads us to believe the world is broken. Just looking around we can see violence, broken homes, and self-inflicted disease. Many studies indicate the leading cause for hospitalization in America is stress and worry, i.e. self-inflected illness. Suffering is found in our nation’s homes, schools, streets and cities. Second, why do we run from change? I believe we run from change because it is uncomfortable and uncertain. We dislike change because a call to change means we are broken. Something is not working as it should. While the church has struggled to retain its traditions and practices of the past, we in fact have changed. Instead of being a change agent in the world, the church has conformed to the broken lifestyle of the world. This has happened because of an attempt to hold on to the past and its traditions. We have lost our unity of purpose. We have lost the power of the Spirit of God. In many ways the church is suffering from the same brokenness found in the world and we are in need of change. We have an elevated esteem of our own ideas and plans; asking God to bless our will for His church. We have placed a priority on our traditions, practices and tools. Because of this, we have failed to remember our changed lives, the lives those around us, and the abiding power of God were never based on our traditions or practices. The power came from the abiding presence of Almighty God; a fulfilled promise by God Himself that He would supply everything we need to accomplish His plan and purpose. Now, the most uncomfortable part - why must the church change its methods and practices? As Barbara Bush said to George the morning after leaving the White House, when he reached over to press the button to ring for His morning coffee; “You are no longer in Wonderland Alice.” We still live in a broken world, but it is a very different world than the world of our traditions. We no longer reside in Wonderland. The youth of America no longer believe there is a God or in absolute truth. “All for one and one for all” has been replaced with, “It’s all about me.” Chewing gum has been replaced by teenage pregnancy, STD’s and violence as our schools’ worst problems. Lest you wonder, does our theology change? No. Jesus is still and always will be the answer to the world’s brokenness. However, if we are going to be a “friend to sinners and publicans” and a “Fisher of Men” we must change our methods and practices.
Lord, please help us change and retool to reach a broken world. Give us the desire and perseverance to endure the changes that must be made. Help us so fall in love with the broken that we are willing to endure the discomfort of change in order to help the weak and bind their wounds. Thank You for the promise to empower us to accomplish Your task. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.