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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Change and Churches

There is no more cruel taskmaster than bad theology. But good theology can free people from the fear oflynn-anderson.jpg change. For example:

if your security rests in the church,

if we see restoration as reproducing carbon copies of “the first-century” blueprint,

if we feel that we have already completed the restoration task,

if we believe our salvation rests on the accuracy with which we duplicate the blueprint;

then we will see no reason for change. In fact, we will actually fear change, lest it put our souls at risk.

Tragically, in some quarters, the views just outlined are bedrock assumptions. This is one reason good theology must precede strategy.

But, on the other hand,

if we see Jesus himself as the blueprint for all people in all times,

if we view the restoration as restoring men and women to Christ,

if this ongoing mission is compelled by gnavigating.jpgratitude to our gracious God;

then, rather than fearing change, we will eagerly pursue any change that glorifies him more authentically and more effectively restores people to him. And we will more clearly understand what must and must not be changed.

Clinging to a past church model or method, however, wonderful it may have been in its heyday, is not a sign of faithfulness. Rather, faithfulness to Jesus’ mission requires us to explore every possible model for “doing church” and to continually come up with new methods to restore people to God.

- Lynn Anderson, Navigating the Winds of Change: How to Manage Change in the Church (West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing, Inc., 1994), pp. 64-65.

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