Monday, June 19, 2006

If You Don’t Like Change………..

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” —General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff. U. S. Army

Tom Peters uses this quote at the beginning of many of his presentations and I think it is one of the most profound things I’ve seen in a long time!

Irrelevant is a word I would use to describe most of our churches today. I know that is harsh but I believe it is the truth. As culture and people have changed the church has resisted instead of lead the way.

Once upon the time the church was the patron of the arts, now we are the imitator! Once we defined architecture now we copy the latest trend. Once we followed a God give authority structure now we look to the latest business guru. We are never as the church meant to imitate our culture, but we are to translate the Gospel into our culture.

I had this hit home at a conference of pastors I attend a few years ago. There was a middle eastern church plant pastor who had planted a church here in the states to reach that native population. The pastors at the conference cheered that pastor on to play a Lebanese worship song using an instrument from there, music from there and words from there. They love it and clapped for several minutes. Later that same day after the rest of the worship time, during a group forum, a pastor stood up and said this, “The problem with our churches today is this modern worship music, we are to worried about experiencing God and not worried enough about preaching the Word.” Pastors around him stood and applauded!

Here it was fine for the missionary pastor to take the message of the Gospel into his culture with music, but it was not all right for the same thing to happen in our own communities.

Our churches need to translate the Gospel into the individual culture around it, for to not do this will lead to irrelevance.

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