On a recent Sunday, my new pastor rolled out a new vision statement with some rather drastic changes in our church’s methodology. Seated in the back, I could see the looks, observe the whispers, and watch the body language of the mostly senior adults in my section. We seniors kind of like to keep things the same, mainly because it gets harder and harder to change, as we age. Plus we have grown comfortable with things the way they are, and resist folks messing with our “comfort zone.” While I understand changes will be made, I also understand my young pastor to be calling us back to a more biblical approach to being the church, and I stand with him 100%. I’m not for change, just for the sake of change, but I am for doing whatever is necessary to impact our world with the truth of God. With a rapidly changing society, how can the church afford not to change? To be sure, I am not talking of changing biblical principles, but rather current methodology. Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said, “He who rejects change is the architect of decay.” Management specialist Harrington Emerson said, “As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” That statement may have inspired the little poem, “Methods are many, principles are few. Methods often change, principles never do.” There is nothing wrong with new methods, if they are based on timeless principles, In fact, God told His people through Isaiah, “Behold, I will do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19). I want to find my place in the new things of my unchanging God. Don’t you?
Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is the WestCoast Baptist Association’s Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.