Or, maybe the question is, who really wants it?
One answer is — God’s people. Over the years Delores and I have related to thousands of people in a wide variety of churches. There are several things that bind the people in these churches together. The first is how much they love their churches. They have remained in their churches because the upside of things in the church outweighed the downside.
But having said people love their churches does not mean that the don’t want their churches to change. In fact, there is a universal desire for their churches to improve and be more successful.
A mantra around the Horn household is — the body of Christ is really smart. The people who are involved and committed to their churches know what’s up. The health survey we use with churches is based on taking church members seriously. The presupposition of the survey is that the people in the church really get it. The survey shows respect by asking a person to tell “his/her story” about the church.
In our years of service, Delores and I have observed a consistent pattern. The individual Christian and their leaders do not tend to connect the need of the church to change with their own personal need for change. In other words, they can identify an organizational barrier but often do not relate it directly to their own personal growth journey.
It may be a strong application of the splinter in another’s eye and a beam in our own.
Jesus made a big point of this for a reason. It is usually easier for me to recognize your need for change than it is for me to recognize my need for change. In fact, my need to change actually sensitizes me to your need to change.
The challenging job we have is to encourage people to come to terms with this — my church will change when I change. It seems that in the end of the day the most righteous prayer of all is, God, change me.
Scott, for the two of us
Since we have been mentioning our mothers’ failing health, I thought I would include a couple of pictures of some of our favorite people. The picture of me and my mother was taken shortly before she became home-bound. She is now in hospice and has round-the-clock care.
This second picture is of Delores, her mom, Klova Dee, and her nephew, Jason. Klova Dee is now in a nursing home 60 miles from our hometown. We stop to see her in Waurika when we make our pilgrimages back and forth. It is hard on Delores knowing she is so far from family or friends.
In closing, change is to be expected as part of life.
As you look into 2016, may you be blessed and may you face change and uncertainty with an expectant excitement that God’s plans are for good and not for evil for those who love him.