Resistance to Change
I was recently in a small group meeting where we were discussing a major change for our new church. As with many churches today, we are facing changes in our location and our facilities, which makes our congregation nervous, anxious and skeptical. This, in turn, zaps the energy level of many members.
It creates questions and concerns like: Where are we going? Why is this happening to us? We have worked hard to create a loving and caring “church”—so why are we facing such difficulties? Why can’t things run smoothly? Is God still on our side? Have we done something wrong?
During this meeting, one of our members reminded us of this axiom: “Change is not painful. Rather, resistance to change is what causes pain.” (some may recognize this from the 12-step program). Don’t we all face changes in our life? In our business? In our family? How do we react to those changes? Do we embrace change or run from it?
In farming, this reminds me of the major push in the 90’s from moldboard plowing to no-till farming (and/or minimum till). At the time, I remember meeting with a father/son team that was resisting the change. I, of course, heard the phrase: “we have always done it this way!”
My response: “That is just not true because your grandfather used horses!” And he did not have the resources such as pesticides. His fertilizer was likely only manure—from the horses, dairy cows, pigs and chickens—all of which he likely had on the farm. That was the only way to feed his family on the 80-acre homestead.
Just as in that case, our “always” is often limited to our own life experiences. It is very short term. How did your grandfather or father change from a self-sustaining homestead? What caused them to change?
Our church is being led (some say forced) to change. But think how many changes and moves our ancestors had to make to bring our faith and our churches to America? What led them to build churches in our local communities? How many changes have been made to those churches over the past generations to provide a safe and loving “church” for our generation?
God has promised to be with us through all our trials and changes. He made a new covenant with us through Jesus Christ. He will lead us if only we ask. Matthew 21:21-22 says: “. . . if you have faith and do not doubt, . . . you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
By the way, one thing never changes: “Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. May we all face changes ‘head-on’ and move forward with the faith to ask God for guidance, knowing that God is always faithful.