This weekend, at Open, I heard a few things. Some were from attendees, some speakers, and others from the Holy Spirit.
Most of the thoughts that stuck are along the lines of change. People are ready for change. They are hungry for it. And the pain of continuing this cycle of depreciating returns is too depressing– finally overcoming the reality that making some levels of foundation shifting change is worth the cost.
Thoughts like this…
- how we as a tribe gathers needs to change
- how we gather teenagers needs to change
- how we disciple teenagers needs to change.
- how we think of ourselves needs to change.
- how we fund the movement of ministering to adolescents needs to change.
With declining numbers in all of the categories that seem to matter, the reality is that there are so few winners and far too many losers.
We all need things in our life and vocation to change. And we are in the position to do something about it.
People, like you and me, are beginning to realize that it is up to us to make these changes instead of waiting for someone else. (Cough, be a leader. Cough, cough. Entropy. Cough, cough. I KNOW! Cough, cough.)
The Pain of Change
Actually changing things will cost you something. It might make people hate you. It will be messy. It might lead to your organization losing money or even closing. There’s a pretty good chance that you could get fired.
But I want to encourage you as you think about change. When you lead towards what you feel God is calling you to move towards… it’s always scary. It’s always full of fear. It’s always brought with some pain.
Sometimes in Scripture we need to read between the lines a little bit. I think of people like Noah going home and telling his wife he needed to build an ark and gather animals. I’m guessing he and his wife didn’t see eye to eye on that at first blush, something tells me he slept on the coach, and maybe it was a little while until she accepted the lunacy of her husbands vision. Rest assured… building an ark isn’t good for your sex life. Or I think about the Centurion in Acts… I’m sure it went well when his boss in Rome found out he and his entire house converted to the religion he was paid to squelch. I don’t think that guy got a raise. Or I think about the Peter on the day of Pentecost… I’m sure that his message of Jesus as the Christ went over like a pile of bricks. Remember, most of the people in the audience walked away saying he was drunk.
So this is what I know. Not just from the Bible but from my own life: Until you suck it up, accept that the changes you know you need to make will involve some pain, you’re just going to keep doing nothing.
No sir. Not for me. I want to sleep at night. The word regret will not be on my tombstone.
Things will change because they must. Pain will be overcome because its just pain. And the vision and dreams God has laid on our hearts should scare the hell out of us.
But fear of pain preventing me or you from the leaders we can be?
May we never sink so far.