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It seems to me that change is changing. Change is constant. Always has been. But, in my opinion, it appears change is unique these days.

It’s changing.

Here are 3 ways change is changing:

Faster – The speed of change has accelerated. From technology, to clothing styles to the way we communicate, the pace of change is faster than ever before.

Less thought put into it – Getting to market seems more important than thinking through what you take to market. It’s bound to have an impact on quality, but that’s okay. The important thing is that new is introduced. At the current pace, it seems to me it would be impossible to put the research, design, and quality control into all the changes being introduced.

Acceptance – Change appears to be more expected today than ever before in my lifetime. It’s almost anticipated. I’m not pretending it’s easier once change is introduced. People still naturally resist change, but it’s almost an understood now that change is part of culture.

These are purely my observations. Obviously, I could be wrong on some of them. My question, however, as a church, since we have a message which can never be changed, how do we adapt to the way change is changing? We can’t change our message, yet we must reach a fast-changing society.

I have questions:

  • How do we adjust?
  • How do we keep up?
  • Do we even try?
  • Are there ways the church should be changing as fast as the world?


How do you see change changing? 

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 25 Comments

  • But when we read the Bible, we gain understanding. It is written that when we read we gain knowledge and knowledge gets us faith and faith gets us understanding. IF you want to understand the world around us, then we have but to gauge our selves in comparison to God. Whatever we have of ourselves that is not in line with God, then that which is left DEFINES THE WORLD AROUND US.

    So if the world is changing so much, and God is not changing, but He is a ROCK, a Holy Rock which can never be broken, for it is written that upon whom I fall I shall grind him to powder but whomever shall fall on me shall be broken; then it is the world that is not in line with God. So do we adapt to being OUT OF LINE with God?

    God forbid.

    We must stop allowing the world, the people, the congregation, to decide for GOD what is best for His church. It is time for us to OBEY GOD so that we are doing what He says is best for HIS CHURCH.

    With much burden and yet also love,

    A brother of His Children in Jesus Christ the Lord


    Here is wisdom if you will hear it: IF you start to plan for what YOU can do, you will fail. Focus instead on the areas that are completely impossible.

    This is where the Spirit works.

    It is written that we should not lean on our own understanding. No, we should believe in the Lord.

    If we change His church, which has been done a 1000 times to no avail, but only to the separation and the renaming of the many different entities claiming Christ, then we become the body of the Evil one – NOT of Christ. For it is written, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

    We are one people, under God; we do not build him a house because the earth is His footstool, heaven is His throne! He BUILDS US A HOUSE! Jesus said, "I go to build you a place to live. If it were not true, then I wouldn't have said it."

    The Bible has been given to us to be able to judge us and keep us accountable. You see, in the flesh, we find such a difficult time discerning whether the Spirit is working or whether it is our intuition, or our senses, or our thoughts.

  • The change that you perceive to be taking place… if the life of a human being is but a vapor; then have not the last 50 years, even the last 30 years, and even the last 10 years, taken up that much less time? Why have we the desire to change anything? When we are comfortable at home and the door is locked and for the first time in 50 years a stranger attempts to open the door, finds that it is locked, and runs away without any other attempt; do we panic and say, "Oh no! The lock isn't enough! If it was we would ALMOST have been invaded!" Or do we say, "Hmm… well I'm glad we put that lock there 50 years ago."

    We should not be so bold and arrogant and foolish to follow or agree or even toy around with the ways of humans without God. We should be even more wary of the actions of those that claim God to ensure that the Spirit is truly with them (unless the Spirit has made a revelation to us, which I have found the Spirit DOES). People know nothing; people rely too much on their own sense and logic and feelings and intuition and not enough on the workings of the Spirit.

    We all make that mistake every now and again; and some of us more than others. We have our weaknesses and our strengths. But we should focus on our weaknesses – NOT OUR STRENGTHS! THE SPIRIT DOES NOT WORK WHERE HUMAN POSSIBILITY LIES — For miracles only happen where a human is fully convinced and aware that a situation is completely impossible. The strength of the Lord is GREATER in times of distress. The power of the Lord is more visible when all things seem impossible.

  • But alas, the tactic is a failure, as the Evil One well knows because his fate is sealed.

    Has the Spirit not led you into the understanding of what you have read? That it is written, There is nothing new under the sun?

    The tactic fails, and has failed before, because some societies have become and will become so out of hand that they FALL. It is because of this fall that people come back to God. It is our job to BE the stability; to have our foundation on GOD ALONE. When everything else is chaotic, His Children will be the ONLY ones to whom people will be able to turn.

    Dabble not, not at all, in anything that attempts to take away from the POWER of GOD and the timelessness of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who was born in the flesh and was changed from His mortal form to His Immortal Form, a form that is a replica, but perfect. The HUMAN FORM has been DEIFIED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. What makes us think that we, us humans alone, have the power, or much less, the RIGHT, to change anything about God? God forbid.

  • It is not our job to CHANGE anything besides our hearts to be as close to God as possible and love our neighbors. The definition of God has not changed. The definition of truth has not changed. The definition of love has not changed. Jesus Christ is ALIVE AND WELL.

    In a world that is appearing to, on the surface, to change so rapidly, it is also given to us to know that this will END. The rapid pace at which everything appears to be happening is only a tactic of the Evil One to convince everyone that science is improving and knowledge is growing and people are becoming better, self-sufficient, stand-alone, gods of the universe!

  • God is infinite. Time is temporary. Look at all the "change" occurring in the universe.

    What makes us think that the silly surface changes around us actually define a real change?

    Is this not what was wrong with the world in the days of Noah? You know, the flood was for the whole world. So the world was full at that time, quite obviously. IT was full and people were doing all the same things, with or without the same kind of technology that we have – and God DID NOT change the fact that He dealt with their disobedience and arrogance. He simply changed the method by which He did it – but no, it was not change; it was and IS a plan.

  • Ron! Initially, I was very scared of change and resisted change to the extent possible. But, things changed after I read the book "Who moved my cheese?" by Spencer Johnson. That changed my perspective to a greater extent. I started to develop my healthy attitude towards change. Now, I am not averse to change. Though there is still certain element of fear, I am able more confident now.

  • Kathryn says:

    Let me tip off my age and recall that 40 nyears ago as a young (extremely so) adult, I kept driving by this church that said, " a 20th century church, using 21st century methods, to proclaim a first century message".
    That intrigued me; not sure why. My curosity got the best of me as God dealt with my not attending church as I had been raised up to do. So I went; sat on the back row and was scared to be there in that big church.
    Come to find out the 21st century tool was actually television. So I watched. Found out the pastor was also a guy who liked to go on mission trips to Kenya and also kill rogue lions while there. I was hooked. I introduced myself; he visited me and explained what salvation really was. The Holy Spirit created that curosity and led me there.
    So, what is our 22nd century method? My guess is we just continue to tell the storu of Jesus, grace and salvation for all. Use every method available to us to proclaim that message and let the Holy Spirit do His work. I have not read where He retired.

  • Michael Pickering says:

    "since we have a message which can never be changed…"

    Let me throw a little fly into the ointment here. Do we truly have a message which can never be changed? I think most who've been involved in ministry for any length of time might agree that there is much disagreement on exactly which part of the "unchangeable message" Christians of varied backgrounds actually agree upon. This is just part of the reason those outside the church, and many inside, have become so disillusioned with the church. It seems to me the core of Christ's unchangeable message – salvation and transformation through faith in him, love for God, and love for one another – has taken a back seat to so many other messages… retail chicken for example. Since the church is responsible for clearly communicating God's unchanging message then let's do that and that alone. Jesus is the message which can never be changed. Love. Grace. Forgiveness. This is the only message that breathes life. So let's exchange the rest of the messages, which drive people away from knowing God, for… Jesus. Isn't that what he did? Changed the religious "unchangeable messages of his day" by fulfilling them? Exchanged rhetoric with relationship? Yes, I do believe we have a message which can never be changed. I also believe we need to change by getting back to that one singular message… and let Jesus do the changing of lives from there on.

  • Sonlife says:

    Great blog keep it going!

  • Blake Lawyer

    As a young leader in the church, I see change becoming part of people’s DNA because of the way that information is passed: quickly and in small tidbits. Asking an audience to listen as you read an entire chapter of the Bible during a sermon is almost like asking people to take 5 and come back for the rest of the sermon!

    While there are both pros and cons to this evolution, it does require that we as church leaders become incredibly innovative in how we present a timeless message. In my short experience I have found that the way we present a program or idea is huge in this need for change. If we can make small tweaks and then communicate why those tweaks make such a big difference we can cultivate the perceived need for change while maintaining the integrity of the gospel message and the mission of the church. I can see how doing this effectively brings along traditionalists who are resistant to change while also resonating with younger generations who know nothing but change.

    In today’s changing ministry culture, navigating this fine line is becoming a necessity for longevity.

  • Jim Scott says:

    I’ve been thinking of these same issues the last feew months. One of the thoughts that seem to come up in my mind is the idea that the pastor in charge of executive direction needs to be comfortable raising up a talented younger man, finish well, and be willing to pass that batton after a modest time in office. This would allow change in the structure and image of the church, without changing the message the pastor tasked with preaching would bring. I’m still working through that thought though and what it looks like in the church I lead.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • @AlansLife says:

    The second aspect is interesting and maybe most challenging. It seems that in the past, change was a steady progression along a consistent path. Now, change may seem arbitrary. I think this makes it hard to predict where we will be in the future, let alone how we adapt. I wonder too, if the pace of change makes it harder to follow others' methods (or only the "early adopters" can). By the time we copy someone else's innovation, things have already changed!

  • @robertaugi says:

    I think the reason there is so much change and people are quick to change is the underlying need and desire for stability. We desire financial freedom, solid unwavering friendships / relationships, health and wholeness. The downside is that people tend to not know how to persist, so fleeting moments become the norm when consistency is truly the key.

    We as the church have a constant in the love and unchanging message of the gospel, however, the way that is communicated or what causes people to open up to it may need a more flexible approach. Instead of trying to get people to conform we could try and show love at all costs. Instead of tying to get people to change, we could show them that love never changes and that's the true foundation of the message of the gospel, that God so loved the world.

    So, the language of love may need to be ever changing, but it's still the message of love and the sign to Jesus who is the author of salvation. Of course this is a snippet of a large conversation, but the beginnings of insight.

    Thanks for getting us thinking.

  • Rod, thanks for the post. In my mind yes change is very present, even in the Church. It used to be that the marketplace was the area where you would expect frequent change but the Church is working/trying/struggling to integrate change as well. I like change in our organization because it means growth; I guess the key is to do it together, use respect and be honest with folks when you do need to make changes.

    Posted today at about leadership and change- good timing!