Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

Nobody Likes “CHANGE”!

As I’ve said for many years “Nobody likes change except a baby with a dirty diaper – & even they cry about it!” I was reminded about this last week when the wife & I went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert here in ATL. We had seen the show a few times before & each time it has blown me away! Well, on Friday night we were waiting for the show to start, suddenly the house lights came down, the band & orchestra launched into their 1st number, the stage lights & special effects fired up ——– but something was different ——— & I wasn’t happy!

Oh, the music was great, the lighting & effects were amazing, but something just didn’t “FEEL” right! For the 1st 10 minutes of the show I was annoyed, I wasn’t into it, & I wasn’t “feeling it”. As I sat there trying to figure out “what was wrong” – I realized that they had changed the show. They didn’t start the show in the same way as previous years. The narrator & first 2 vocalists were different than last year (initially I didn’t think they were as good). They had changed up the arrangements of some of the songs & I was MAD! I wanted my old Trans-Siberian Orchestra back! DANG IT!

Once I realized what was going on in my own psyche – I literally smacked myself in the face (which I’m prone to do to make myself “snap out of it”). Then I sat back & tried to objectively remove my personal preferences & evaluate the show. And guess what? It was pretty darn good! The band & orchestra were “killing it” (in a great way), the vocalists were actually better than before, the staging & lights were the best yet for T.S.O. In fact, this was the best T.S.O. show I had seen yet!

Funny – how much our personal preference, what we like, how we like things, & our “comfort zone” can affect our perception of things & our willingness to try new things. Funny – how as you read through the Bible you see God continually shaking things up. He is constantly changing circumstances & situations – & constantly pushing people out of their comfort zones. He does this to stretch us & grow us. He does this to teach us things about ourselves & about Him. He does this to force us to rely on & trust Him. When things are “safe”, smooth, & “comfortable” for too long – we tend not to stretch, grow, learn, & trust God. Have you figured that out yet?

Last Friday night was a great reminder for me as our church is heading into a season of a lot of changes! We’re teaming up with a local church to help them re-launch their church. In addition to resources, we’re sending one of our key staff members to help lead this other church. (CLICK HERE for more info about this) Our part-time worship leader is taking a full-time position in South Carolina. We have several new volunteer staff people stepping up to lead different ministries of Eagle Pointe.

God changes things so often around here at Eagle Pointe that you’d think we would be used to it by now. BUT – for a lot of people things may not  “FEEL” the same for a little while. And that’s okay! In fact, that’s GREAT!

I’ve been following Jesus long enough on this wild & crazy adventure to know that when God starts shaking things up – yeah it may be uncomfortable & challenging for a while – but in the long run God ALWAYS turns it into something SO much better than before!

As a leader, while I have learned to embrace & get excited about change (my wife Gina & I joke that God has had us out of our comfort zone for so long – we don’t even remember what our comfort zone was)- but I also have to be understanding & empathetic of those who aren’t to that point yet. I have to slow down & help those who are sitting there watching the start of the show thinking “something doesn’t ‘feel’ right, this is not what I’m used to, this is a little uncomfortable, this is different & I’m not sure if I like it yet.”  We as leaders need to help & encourage those people along the journey.

So, the challenge for us in our personal lives & our churches is to embrace change. We have to step back and make sure it is God who is shaking things up & then once we figure out that it is God – jump on board & enjoy the ride. Change & discomfort should become a sign & an indicator for us that God is about to do something really, REALLY cool!

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3 responses

  1. It was a tough piece of meat to chew at first glance. After talking it over with God I have realized change is not a bad thing and is only perception through our own filters of good or bad. Change is a vital part of everyday life and must for growth. Continually praying for a successful and blessed merge between EPC and LBC. God Bless.

    December 15, 2010 at 7:29 am

    • Good thoughts Shawn. As you read through the Bible God Himself never changes – but He is constantly changing our circumstances to grow us. The idea of “following Jesus” implies continual movement & change. Comfort & complacency are the enemy of spiritual growth.

      December 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

  2. Cheryl M Kipreotis

    Aaaugh, change! Certainly can take us out of the comfort zone! In most situations by my own experiences, change, orchestrated by the Lord, have been for my own growth. Either, I have refused to move on after the doors have closed (finding myself butting my head against the door, only to finally realize, it’s NOT moving, therefore I must),or I have taken over the situation and left God, and faith in Him out of the equation.
    Growth, when suddenly realized, what the Father is trying to get me to do, has always been good – unnerving, but good.
    After all, He does say in Jeremiah 29 – …for I know the thoughts that I think towards you,…thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an EXPECTED end. We (especially myself) need to listen most closely to His still small voice, and remember, that once He has started a good work in us, HE IS FAITHFUL to perform it!
    There’s the rest in Him!
    MY! How I love and adore HIM.
    Thank you Pastor, and my sister Sandy D. for sharing your words of wisdom with me!
    In Him,
    cheryl

    December 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm

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