A Message from Pastor Mike: “Change”

So I’m writing this, all alone in the church, watching it snow.

Yes, THAT snow. March 21st. (Supposedly the first full day of spring).

It’s ridiculous; that’s what it is. And it makes it hard to believe that changes are coming.

But life is change, really. Some changes are unwelcome, but without change things get stagnant and cease to grow.

And the sooner we get used to this fact? The more likely we will be able to embrace life and find its beauty.

At this point, about 30 congregations in our synod are in the midst of a revitalization program called “R3.” This has really been the brainchild of our bishop and synod staff. They have rightly looked into the future of the church and realized that: in too many ways, and in too many places, the church has let the desire for comfort blot out the need for change…and we have paid for it.

We’ve paid for it partly in the fact that we have lost much of our voice as a church. We have allowed the name “Christian” to become synonymous with those who have mistaken the comforts of materialism and culture for the gospel. I hear some of our young people say things like: “I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m a Christian,” and I understand them! So many Christians proclaim hate and judgment over love, and our voice, as the church struggles, gets lost in the mix. We have been too content, as a denomination, to rest on our laurels. As we’ve diminished, we’ve hurt ourselves and allowed damage to occur to the Word of God.

Of course, as I’m already alluding to, part of our “payment” has resulted in a question of whether our denomination can even survive? That question might be a little extreme. There will likely be some “version” of the Lutheran church out there for a long, long time, but many congregations are now looking at what might be their “last chance.” If they can’t renew themselves, they won’t be able to survive for much longer.

As you can likely tell, this frustrates me. I’ve tried, in my time as a pastor, to be a voice for change in the larger church and often have felt that no one wanted to listen. I believe what has happened has been largely unnecessary and, often, self-inflicted.

Which brings me to what I’ve said here so many times before: You need to be, as a congregation, congratulated for embracing change and for showing that a Lutheran church in the USA of 2018 can be vital, filled, and a home for young and old alike.

As we hope for flowers and warmer temperatures, as we bask in the “new life glow” of Easter, I’m hoping we will not rest on “our” laurels, but rather keep changing, adapting, and doing whatever we must do to serve our Lord.

God, as Buckminster Fuller said, “is a verb.”

Trinity needs to keep moving, too. May we always be “in action.” May we always be a voice for the gospel. And may God always be pleased with us.

Pastor Mike

Posted in: Our Life Together

Post a Comment

Worship with Us