from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Going With The Flow Vs Swimming Upstream

This weekend I was reminded in a new way of Henry Blackaby’s teaching in Experiencing God – see where God is working and join in. I realized this concept applies to trends and styles as much as anything else.

I believe God designs a church’s personality through the people He leads to that church. By their interests, skill sets, and gifts, the look and feel of the church develops…and yes, changes. A church, like everything else, must continually change. If we reject that change, we reject the growth and development God intends for us.

Let’s say a traditional church loses its pianist. The organist moves to the piano until one or the other position can be filled. Time goes on, but no one is found. However, some new people have joined the church that play guitar and drums. Let’s also say the choir has dwindled down to ten or less on any given Sunday and that’s with coercion.

What do you do? Lament the past, beg for choir members, keep working that piano player to death? Or do you see where God is working and join in? Use the people He has put in your congregation and change?

This is not only true for the long term, but sometimes on a week to week basis. What happens when half the worship team is out one Sunday either through sickness, travel, or other ministry? Granted it’s nice to know about those things in advance, but did God not know? Is He not, maybe, intervening in your plans to re-design that particular service?

In addition to my church service, I’ve been part of an independent ministry for about ten years now. Many of those early years were spent trying to figure out what kind of ministry we were supposed to be. We had our preferences, and that is what we tried to do. We were swimming upstream trying to do our own thing. It wasn’t until we took our hands off and just let it be that it’s focus began to take shape. Now we’re just going with the flow of the Holy Spirit’s leading, using the willing people God has put in our path.

Change comes for different periods. It may last a week or two. It may last a few years. But it always comes, and God is usually in it. Will you join Him or resist Him?


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