To those who are in leadership positions and are slow to change, allow me to share two reasons why God’s church must change:
1. Because God’s work in the world is changing
A church whose function is only in preserving itself is a useless church. The church’s identity is largely structured by our mission. It has once been said that it is not that God’s church has a mission, but that God’s mission has a church.
And I do think that thought has a merit in the sense that when we lose our missional focus of a church, we lose our purpose.
And we lose our purpose when we forget that God’s work in the world is changing. We lose function when we fail to adapt to God’s changing strategies to reach a changing world. History and tradition are great, but of what value are they to bear witness to a people who have absolutely no concern for our history or traditions? Doubtless, their value are minimal.
Rather, a changing church is inherent in being a missional church. Sure, change not for the ends of change, but for effectiveness. An unchanging church is like writing and speaking in old King James English to the contemporary person–it doesn’t communicate, nor does it impact.
2. Because God is constantly calling us to a higher standard
I think that that one of the temptations we may have when we are in a particular setting for long is to define church according to our experiences. We cannot be tempted to think that we know what something because of our familiarity.
Rather, the scriptures and the Holy Spirit constantly call us for a higher standard. God constantly calls us to new heights of holiness, new heights of love, new depths of discipleship, greater effectiveness in evangelism, etc.. And intrinsic in a church who is consistently being called upward is a church who is changing.