I've been challenged lately by listening to some teachings by several different pastors both nationally and internationally. We often look to other churches and in our human nature, we compare this with that and contrast ours with theirs. It's a dangerous game to play! We can look at churches with the latest thingamawhatsit and envy their resource (not good! pretty sure that's one of those commandments or something?). And then we can look at other churches and think "I'm so glad we have a whatsamacallit in our church. I remember when we were a church like that. We are doing such a better job than them now" (really really not good! Pride. Leaves a bad taste in your mouth!). But it happens! Across so many Christians. It is a human nature thing, and I am not going to stand up and say "I am holier than thou". All people, even pastors and prophets keep those thoughts at bay. It does get easier at times.
But the mindset that we have here at Eternity church is that we want our people to BE/START/CHAMPION/FACILITATE/MINISTER a move of God in the Latrobe valley and all of Australia. We don't want people to walk into our building or meetings and think "Wow, so this is what church used to be like 40 years ago." We are not changing for the sake of changing, but as society is dynamic, so must the church. We must hold onto the unchanging message, but we need to meet society where they are at. Jesus went out into the highways and byways. He didn't give up going to church (temple/synagogue) and he did not waiver on the message of God's love and grace. He did not contradict the Word of God, but rather fulfilled it and ushered in a new season for believers. Some stuck to the old ways, the Jews that refused to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Others moved with the times and discovered the Way the Truth and the Life in Jesus.
We too can miss out on what God has in store for our local community if we are stubborn in our thinking and hold fast to the ways things have been done before without prayerfully coming before God and ask Him to lead us into new places. It goes without saying that there are things we don't change. We have an unchanging message!!!! But we shouldn't fear change, if it is where God is leading us.
Ashleigh and I moved from NSW to VIC not knowing exactly how things were going to go. But we have been led by God, and have put our faith in His word and His voice in our lives. God has protected us and guided us in all of our adventures, and boy have we needed Him! With the whirlwind of stuff going on (that's for another time) we have stood on His promises and His guidance, and it's actually been quite peaceful (in my soul and spirit). And God is doing AWESOME stuff through us now. Stuff that would not have happened if we didn't make the change He was leading us into.
Eternity Church is heading into more amazing stuff! We are willing to change whatever He needs us to. We've laid it down at the altar, and look forward to picking up what He asks us to!
Senior Pastor at Eternity Church.