CHANGED LIVES! That's a goal we're familiar with! That's what the church is about, right? CHANGING LIVES. But the actual change process is not so clear sometimes. We don't see much change, and what we do see is often slow and pretty hurky jerky.
And then what about CHANGED CONGREGATIONS? Ask any leader who has tried to bring about change, and you'll learn quickly that leading change is a challenge. Even among Christians, it's often true that there's plenty of conflict, plenty of pain, lack of safety, and high prices to pay for change. What kind of leader is up for that? (Want to read something really good about change at the classical level?)
CHANGED NEIGHBORHOOD?!?! Congregations need to be in a really good place internally, and have the right stuff, to be healthy change agents, Christ-like Kingdom change agents, in the community!
But we all do undergo change - like it or not. We can ask about the pace of the change, and more important we can ask about the DIRECTION of the change, but we are changing, and so are our congregations and our communities.
How might we move along side and in amongst the changes as Christ-like influencers? How might we keep our eye on Jesus, and our ear open to the Spirit, and respond in obedience as new opportunities and questions emerge?
Communities First Association is dedicated to helping churches become healthy change agents in their community. Jay Van Groningen has put together a powerful 2 page tool to help us think about the church and transformation. I recommend it highly.