If you’re a long-time, faithful church member who doesn’t like the way your church is changing, I have one thing to say to you.
For what? We’ll get to that soon. But first I want to tell you a short story.
Trying to Keep Up
“What happened to the clapping?”
The man who asked me that question has been a member of our church since it was founded in 1961.
I didn’t understand his question, so I asked him to clarify.
“Well,” he stammered, “it, uh, seems like the way we clap along to the faster songs has changed in the last several years. And I always get it wrong.”
Now I understood. I explained to him how, when he was younger, we clapped to the on-beat, whereas with newer music we always clap to the off-beat. He had no idea what that meant, so I tried to illustrate.
It didn’t work. (If you don’t know what that means either, don’t worry about it. Or ask your worship leader.)
After my failed explanation, he smiled, shrugged his shoulders and told me one of the best things I will ever hear from a long-time church member. “I don’t understand a lot of what’s happening at this church any more, but I do know this. You’re preaching the gospel, the place is filling with young people, and we’re reaching out to the community. That’s good enough for me.”
I smile every time I think about it. Thank you, Eldon.
When Everything But the Message Is Changing
It’s tough when you’ve been in a church for a long time and things start to change. Soon, the church you love may feel like it doesn’t even exist anymore.
But you’ve hung on. Why? Because, like my friend Eldon, you’ve seen that the changes are surface. The methods and styles are different, but the gospel message is the same. (If your church is watering down the gospel, that’s another discussion for another time).
So, for every long-time church member who's staying and contributing, even while your church goes through changes you don’t understand, this is my tribute to you.
Change Is Hard – Thanks For Staying
Thank you for staying in a church whose
- Service order
- Preaching style
- or something else
has changed into something you don’t recognize any more.