One of the hardest parts about coming into a church is recognizing the madness that already exists. Adversely, one of the hardest parts about changing a church is recognize the madness that exists, accepting reality and then working to change your present into the future you want.
The energy of a church can tell you a lot about the church itself. I pastor two churches in rural western Kansas, and they, in all honesty, could not be more different. One church when I began my call here was ready to go, ready for change—all they needed was some guidance. The other church, they wanted absolutely nothing to do with change and were living in the past.
One took leaps and bounds forward, the other is slowly trucking along in a 1940s tractor. But they are BOTH MOVING FORWARD. That’s the point of this post. Not every church moves at the same pace as all other churches, and that’s a good thing. Can you imagine if all churches looked and acted alike? BORING.
Each of these churches moves at their own pace. They change in ways they want to change. But first they have to accept their reality. That is probably the hardest part about changing a church. When you walk into the building you can feel the energy of it. Energy is either sucked right into a vortex never to be seen again, is stagnant and feels like it’s dying out slowly or quickly, or the energy is bubbling and bursting, sizzling as it waits to be utilized.
Like I said prior, each one of my churches is different. Changing the energy of a congregation is difficult and slow and long process. It’s not as simple as walking it, snapping your fingers and letting it all happen. We’re not God, after all. We’re just humble servants working within God’s house.
Our energy will either attract and repel newcomers and members. Our energy as a pastor and our energy as a church. You want them to be in sync, by the way, and hopefully we can all get to that point. One thing I remember from working at camps is Energizers, where we’d get the kids up and moving and get they working and dancing and singing and all on the same page, all with the same energy. Some kids love them, other’s hate them. I was one that hates them. I am NOT a dance and sing in front of people kind of person (introvert here).
What energizers did was get everyone in the room on the same page. This is what we’re all doing, these are the moves we’re going to take, this is the language and music we’re going to listen to, and this is how we’re going to start our day and our event. Ahh, yes, much to learn from church camp there is.
Accepting our reality is important. At this point and time we are here. It doesn’t matter where we were or where we want to be, we are here. This means we can now make a decision as to where we want to be, where we wanted to be and failed, and how we are going to change and move from here. Because there is no living without change.