i want change

The Change of Congregation: for the pastor

congre Each year of ministry has come with its share of lessons learned. Currently, I am learning something with an impact for sustainable ministry into the future. Allow me to share this personal lesson in an address to other pastors and ministry leaders.

Never neglect the reality that you just might not be sent to this congregation to change them, but that perhaps God is using this congregation to change you.

Each leader has his inadequacies and weakness. Each ministry leader has her insecurities and doubts. Each pastor has his holes through which perfection leaks right out of grasp, and a congregation you engage with and truly shepherd will have an incredible knack for revealing those things.

This is not an attack, nor is it an especially intentional action of the congregation. This is the way of congregation. It is the way of koinonia. It is the way of the Holy Spirit doing his work in the life of a pastor  and ministry leader called to this very place.

If you will allow, God will change you, ministry leader. He will do so with and through the people you thought you were here to fix, save, and change.

I want change but not really

The majority of us can admit a need for change within ourselves.  We know the parts of our lives where change is needed and would be favorable.  For some of us, we know these things well as we continually obsess over them and dwell on them for long periods of time. A majority of us, if asked, could give a great account of the deep wounds and hurts as well as the hang-ups and struggles that plague us all the time.  We know where change is needed.  We know where healing is needed within our lives.

What great relief we would know if we could be healed!  What a wonderful instance it would be if there was a great healer and physician to heal and bring change to the areas we most need them!

Another majority of us would say, "But there is!"  There is a great physician who is capable of changing and healing those areas that darken our daily lives.  We know God calls us to him for that healing and change.

There is one great problem!  The problem is in the way we come to that healer.  The problem is in how we come to God.

We typically come to God without those things which need to be healed and changed.  We most often come to God with our spiritual selves, our spiritual words, spiritual actions, spiritual presentations.  We come with all the pretty parts and leave the ugly parts that NEED the healing and the change.

We "come to God" in our prayer (among other ways), but how do we pray?  What do we pray?  Do we come praying all of the pretty words we have learned?  Do we pray the pretty things that look very spiritual and "okay" or "fine"?

What a shame that we who know we need healing refuse to bring the parts of ourselves that need change before the master healer and physician!

Transformation and change is possible to us who need it so drastically, and we, the majority, refuse to bring those areas before God who is capable and willing to heal and transform.