Old habits die hard…

[Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted on our previous blog and has been relocated here and backdated.]

I had an interesting moment of clarity today.

I read a blog post by a pastor that I know. He included a great line that resonated with me.

“In this age of rapid change, the church of Jesus cannot afford to cement itself in structures and ministries that produce little, while refusing to adapt to a changing mission field…If reaching people for Christ is what we exist to do then we will embrace the most creative and responsive ways to do it.”

In his post, he is addressing why is his church has chosen to divide their congregation and resources among multiple campuses, which is an interesting discussion in itself and probably worthy of a blog post here some day. But I think his words speak to a much broader truth about the Christian life.

While I was mulling over this, my first instinct was to type up an email to “the guys” (i.e., the other bloggers here on WWC Sojournall) and share this inspiring quote. That has been our modus operandi around here for a long time whenever one of us has something to share.

However, then I had a sort of “meta” moment of conviction in which I realized I was about to use the “old way” to share my revolutionary thoughts on the need for us to adapt to new ideas, when I had a brand new blog available to me. A blog which was created for that exact purpose. A blog that was conceived in months of email exchanges that almost all closed with the line “Hey guys, we should put conversations like this in a blog.”

“We should really start a blog.”

“Are we ever going to start that blog?”

Well now the blog is here in all its splendour, and my first instinct when I had a blogworthy thought was to fall back into my old ways.

Change is hard. Adaptation is hard. We have to actively pursue change because our instincts are to let inertia keep us where we are and keep doing what we have already done. But change, specifically adapting, can be healthy and necessary. Technology, culture, and social norms are constantly changing, and the church must evolve with them. Not in the sense that we seek to be “of the world” and let secular forces shape our beliefs, but we should be sensitive to the culture we live in and be willing to meet people where they are in a loving way. People are not interested in an ancient out-of-touch tradition that was invented generations ago in a different time, a different place, a different world. People want a loving community that deals with issues relevant to their lives. The Christian faith can provide that if we are cognizant of the winds of change and react accordingly. Our traditions, customs, songs, buildings, etc., can all change. The only constant should be demonstrating the love of Christ to our neighbors.

I’ll let the Apostle Paul conclude this post because I think he said it very well. “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means, I might save some.”