Change Happens

Change Happens.  And Gateway is no exception. In the last 18 months, nine new people have joined our staff.  A new lead pastor is just around the corner.  The old pastor (that’s me) is nearing the end of a remarkable and celebrated tenure.  In a few short weeks, we will open a new campus and go from three to five services.  And we continue to change how we teach our kids, do Sunday worship, take care of the building, manage our offices, etc.  It’s enough change to make your head spin.

Most people don’t like change.  They know it’s inevitable, but they still prefer things to stay the same.  Mark Twain once said the only person who really likes change is a wet baby.  So what are we doing when life is changing, even our church.

First, know that no matter what is happening, our God never changes.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?  What he desires, that he does. (Job 23:13)

And remember the lyrics from The Rock Won’t Move
The rock won’t move and His Word is strong.
The rock won’t more and His love can’t be undone.
The rock won’t move and His Word is strong.
The Rock of our salvation.

An unchanging God is the bedrock of our peace and joy and confidence, even when there is a steady stream of new things and new ways.  That’s a truth that Gateway celebrates – today and tomorrow.

Secondly, remind yourself that God is in the changing business – changing hearts and lives and churches and nations and all things.

And He said:   “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:23)

Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed…(I Corinthians 15:51)

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (II Corinthians 3:18)

When God looks at us, His chief concern is our transformation, not how many services our church provides.  This truth cuts many ways.  It’s a warning that a church that is always changing something may be covering up for a lack of genuine transformation.  OUCH!  On the other hand, too much personal stress over changes in how we do church may be a way of slowing down our own transformation.  OUCH AGAIN!  Think about these things.