Living In the Tension
It's tempting to say that the answer to this dilemma is balance.
But it's not.
Trying to balance such opposite extremes will either lead to spiritual schizophrenia (no one knows what's going on) or resignation (one side wins, the other loses).
The longer I pastor, the more convinced I am that I'll never find a healthy balance between these two opposing truths. I have to get used to living in the tension between them.
The more we change our style and methods, the more important it is to re-establish our total dependence on the unchanging truths of God's Word.
Most pastors tend to emphasize one or the other, depending on their circumstance.
And sometimes that circumstance changes daily. Or it depends on who we're talking with.
For instance, when I'm talking with church leaders who haven't updated anything in decades, I come across as the crazy, California renegade, pushing for radical innovation and change.
But when I'm in a roomful of trendy, cooler-than-cool hipsters who are more likely to take their inspiration from the latest movie than the scriptures, I'm the old-school, bible-toting, small church preacher.
Let's Work Together
The truth is, there are great churches on both sides of this.
Many churches that might appear overly trendy to some people, are just using new methods to reach unreached people with the changeless Gospel.
On the other side, there are some great traditional churches that provide a haven of comfort for hurting people, while serving their community in truly transformational ways.
A method that works in one situation may not work for another church in a different environment.
But the Gospel is true and transformational in every situation.
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