Until about a year and a half ago my wife and I watched TV on a television set she owned in middle school. The TV was extremely small, only about half the remote buttons worked, and the back of the remote was lost forcing us to use duct tape to hold the circuit on. For two Christmas’s we promised each other that we would not buy each other gifts so that we could spend the money on a new TV never going out to buy one. You ask why?
Well we had the time, opportunity, and money but we just didn’t. Maybe it is that we truly loved that old TV so much that we could not part with it even though it had out lived its worth. Now that old TV had not failed my wife when she first bought it but years later it was starting to show its age. Maybe we were scared, because with a new TV comes the aggravation of setting up(all those wires) and learning how to use a new remote control(all those buttons).
I share this story because I believe it directly relates to why we hate change. We hold on to things in church life well past their usefulness simply because we hate change. Let’s say that Ministry X has been going on at First Church for 10 years. For the first 5 years Ministry X went extremely well and saw many people come to know Christ and be discipled. But for the last 3 to 5 years Ministry X has gone down hill. Also there have been newer ministries created that could take the place of Ministry X and be more effective. It sounds like a no brainer to change Ministry X, but we don’t, we won’t, why? Here are some Myths about Change.
1. Change equals Failure-This is completely untrue. Many times when we change a ministry we feel like we are saying that the ministry failed or worse we failed. Changing a ministry does not say something or someone failed, it says we are willing to do whatever it takes to reach people. Don’t view change as if you are getting fired from a job, see it as a new adventure that will require faith in God.
2. The right change should be easy-No change is easy not even necessary ones. I am not an electronic guru so when we bought that new TV learning how to use the new remote was torture. I had memorized how to use the old remote so I wouldn’t even have to look at it, and now I have to look at the remote, it’s horrible.
To be honest I think we use this as an excuse because we don’t want to learn new things. We don’t want to take the time and effort to learn new lessons, methods, or instructions. Some might call this lazy, I would call this fear. We are afraid to try something new, but God wants us to trust Him.
3. The old way is just fine-This may be true in some cases, but if you have been doing Ministry X the same way for more than 5-10 years it at least needs some tweaking if not an overhaul. People are different, what worked for one generation will not work for the next one. And if you say, well we haven’t reached any new people for so long the old is fine, then what more reason do you need to change.