By Rev. Cindy Marino
Never before has it been so difficult to plan for the future.
While we could admit that we never really know what the future holds, we usually plan ahead as if we do. We have confidence in a future that will be much the same as our present. We know we may have to adjust a bit as we age, or as we hear about new trends or needs. Drastic shifts, such as the one we’re experiencing during a pandemic, don’t come along all that often.
That desire for "sameness," for maintaining what we already know and already have, creates a powerful pull against any current of change. I think about the resistance to "use the screen" in the Sanctuary or to provide live-streaming of our services. Six months ago, these were both ideas that we continued to place on the back burner, saying, the congregation is just not ready. And now, they are all we know of church. How quickly we adapt when it’s absolutely necessary!
Leadership in churches is often left to those who know the past and can be counted on to maintain the status quo. We take great comfort in the trust we have in these leaders, as well we should. As much as we have talked about flexible and agile leadership, and even as we see it taking the world to new heights and possibilities, we probably haven’t fully appreciated the need for it in the church … until now.
But now it is time for all who have been living in the world where adaptability in your jobs, in your families, in your education has been life-giving, to bring that experience into the community of faith! The church needs your ability to trust the Holy Spirit, to encourage change when and where beneficial. We need your imaginative response to the needs of the world, bringing the message of hope to those who may not find it otherwise. Jesus Christ was a change agent. And we are called to be the same.
Of course, the message of hope that Jesus brings never changes. We will always find in Him, the constant of love along with the challenge to love and lead in new ways.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" Ephesians 4:11-13.
Step into the challenge of leadership at Grace as we build the body of Christ together.
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