I like it the way it is

Why change?

Conservatism, that is the desire to keep things the same, not the British political party, is natural.  We have tried things out and sometimes it has gone wrong, what we do is tried and tested. And safe.

That people become more conservative as they get older is understandable. They have tried a lot of things and found what works. Best to stick to that. As humans, survival depends on doing things that are safe. Stick to the tries and tested is a good way to survive.

I understand conservatism, it is the best way to survive.

The problem with this is that it is the arch-enemy of innovation. Nothing ever moves forwards if we stay with what is safe. Innovation is dangerous.

But what has this to do with church? God does not change, so why should a church which follows an unchanging God be changing? The world is changing, the last 100 years has seen massive changes. But the church should be following God, not the world be changing? Is change not following the world and not God?

Look at how the world has changed in the last 100 years. The first half of that 100 saw large changes in transportation. Cars have become common, not just for the rich. Air travel went from small fabric over a framework biplanes to jet airliners. The sound barrier had been broken in 1947 and a man got into space in 1961.

The last 50 years has seen this develop further, air travel and foreign holidays are accessible to more people. More people have cars then ever before. But the big change has come in technology. 100 years ago there were no computers. 50 years ago computers needed air conditioned rooms, a place with a computer was special. Now computers are common. Machines far more powerful at computing than the computers which got man to the moon in 1969 are carried in people’s pockets – the smartphone.

With a rapidly changing world wht should the church not be an oasis of calm among the chaos? I ask again: If God is unchanging why should the church change? Is not our mission to serve God?

Yes we are to serve God, but also to serve people. “Love God with all your heart mind and strength and your neighbour as yourself.” We serve God by serving people. The people we are to serve are the poor in the developing word, who cannot afford the cars, foreign holidays and smartphones that those in rick countries possess. But also to serve the people who have all these things. How does a church reach people who live in a car using smart phone wielding society?

There is the problem. Generally speaking, although Christianity is growing worldwide, it is actually in decline in the west first world countries.

The message of the Bible does not change. It is the same for all generations for all time. One thing that does not change is that we are called to bring the love of God to all people where they are. Christianity has a long history of changing the way that the message is presented to reach the culture to which to which it living. Christianity is flexible.

The challenge is in knowing how to present the gospel to a car using technology owning generation.  We have to adapt for each generation.

2 thoughts on “I like it the way it is

  1. David

    The car changes the church’s catchment area. The internet and smart phones change the materials available to us and how we read. The electric guitar changes how we worship. Prosperity changes our approach to aid and missionary work.

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