Friday, July 29, 2011

When Change DOESN’T Happen…

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

“The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.
See the line from a sufficient distance,
and it straightens itself to the average tendency.”

As all of you know, for the past two years there has been much discussion of the need for a schedule change. The decision to move forward with that change was announced by the Deacon Leadership at the June deacon’s meeting, and for the past month our staff and church family have been preparing for an August 14 launch of a new schedule. At the July deacon’s meeting the schedule change was taken off the table based on input received from our church family. Many times leaders have to make decisions that are unpopular based on the best information available. I’m sure this is the case with the decision not to pursue the schedule change.

With that said, where does that leave us?

First and foremost, we must be reminded that this is Christ’s church and He is in control.
Ephesians 5:27 reminds us that our Lord loved the church so much he gave his life for it. Without doubt, that is the ultimate display of love. Our motivation must always be to protect the Bride of Christ, His church, at all costs…even when we don’t agree with a specific decision.

Second, we must promote unity within the body.
I must confess that in my 29 years of ministry to the local church there have been countless times that I have disagreed with decisions made by church leaders. God, in His infinite wisdom, created us all as individuals each with distinct gifts and perspectives. (By the way, when I get to heaven I want to ask Him about that!) Because of that, we’ll never agree on methodologies and specific approaches. The key, however, is that in the midst of our differences we must focus on the things that unify us: the grace of Jesus Christ on our lives and His love for the church.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
I Corinthians 13:12-14

Third, we must aggressively move forward with God’s calling on our lives.
As slaves of Christ, we are not mere volunteers, but rather “earthen vessels” that have received a holy calling on our lives to “let light shine out of darkness” (II Corinthians 4:1). This means that our Christian service is not dependent on circumstances or preferences, but rather on our acknowledgement of the grace of God in our lives and His mandate that we share His light with a world that is in darkness. It is when things don’t go our way that our true character is revealed. When viewed through the prism of God’s grace and call on our lives, things such as schedules and process shrink to insignificance.

I suppose that’s why I’m always bewildered when a Christian “withholds” their support from Christ’s church by not tithing or dropping out of attendance. As sinners saved by grace, our support of the church is not based on our “happiness factor”, but rather should be in response to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Selective support displays spiritual immaturity and a total lack of understanding of God’s call on our lives. As Paul reminded the Corinthian church:

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
II Corinthians 4:1, 6-10

As we make plans to kick-off our ministries in August, those of us in the Music and Worship Ministry must do the following:

  1. Pray for our staff and deacon leadership as they seek God’s will for our church;
  2. Make a covenant agreement to fulfill our calling to be in the choir loft each Wednesday and Sunday…for both the 9:00A and 10:30A services;
  3. Commit to seeks God’s face in personal worship so that we can lead our church family in dynamic and meaningful corporate worship; and,
  4. Remember that God expects us to “let light shine out of darkness”…even when we may not agree.

I believe at this moment in the life of our church the most important thing we can do is to fill the choir loft with as many worshipers as possible and to lead our congregation to the throne of grace each week. It’s going to be a GREAT fall and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do. I’ll see you there!

Pursuing the Call,


1 comment:

  1. Very mature thoughts! We keep doing what we know God has called us to do until He clearly gives a different direction. Trust Him always and know that He is in control. Life is too short to break fellowship over personal preferences or for giving up on reaching people. I hope FBC will always set the right example of love and evangelism.