I love the new tag line for one of the major retail outlets “expect change.” It is such a simple statement, in just two words.
It got me thinking of the ever present reality of change, not monetary, but the change that we are all faced with in our ministries. Change on a large scale, like changing the culture of a ministry as well as change on a personal level.
We all have different feelings towards change. It can be complex, straight forward, needed or essential, and is often met with hesitation even anger and frustration. So, as some people ask, is it really necessary?
At the moment I am preparing a talk from Acts 9. The change in Saul’s (whom we also know as Paul) life is dramatic and miraculous. A man passionate to destroy the followers of Jesus, to hunt them out, destroy, persecute them is changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. As John Stott writes ‘the persecutor is now the persecuted.’
Change and the desire for change is seen throughout the Bible. God, through his prophets continually calls his people to change their rebellious ways and turn back to him.
The disciples are transformed from a bunch of bumbling misfits to committed, confident and courageous men with a mission. Paul’s letters are full of exhortations for lives to be changed by the Holy Spirit. In his letter to the Colossians it his desire that all maybe presented mature in Christ.
Change is a reality; and change in the Bible is never just for fun, just for something different, it is always purposeful and powerful.
As leaders I hope that we haven’t stopped expecting change. Expecting and praying for change in ourselves and each other. I also hope that in this expectation, our goal is to see the people whom we serve and ourselves, change to be more and more like Jesus.
It makes you wonder that if this was everyone’s reason for change, would the people in our ministries welcome change with open arms, no matter how painful?
Diocesan Ministry Assistant
Assistant Curate St David’s Cathedral, Hobart
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