A Personal Conviction About Change

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I had a convicting experience recently. It was one which will actually help me in the current church work I am doing, but also in the future as I implement change.

One Saturday night during December I went to three church Christmas parties. Cheryl was out of town, so I made a quick pass through each of them. I was watching a football game before I left home and didn’t turn off the television. When I returned home I entered to find a Christmas show on that I had never seen.

It was something called “Frosty Returns.” I apologize if that is your Christmas favorite, but in my opinion…it stinks.

Sorry. Not trying to be rude to the people behind the show, but that’s how I saw it.

It wasn’t “Frosty”. It was “Frosty Returns”. Bad, bad, bad idea. Bad sequel to the original.

I immediately thought…

The audacity. They messed with Frosty. Frosty the Snowman. The classic. The one I watch every year. You can’t improve upon that. You make a mistake as soon as you waste time thinking that you can.

And, why did Frosty need to return anyway? Take a chance on melting again. Take a chance on losing that magic hat.

Who would mess with the original? What’s this world coming to?

How could you possibly improve upon the real thing?

Okay, maybe a little over dramatic…but you get the point. I couldn’t understand the need to change from what has worked for so long.

Then, in the middle of my disgust, it hit me.

Conviction. Between the eyes.

I’m pretty sure it may have been a “gentle whisper” moment.

I’m new in my current church. A 100 plus year old church. Some people in this church have been attending the church longer than I’ve been alive.

We are revitalizing. Transitioning. Making changes.

Not all of them are popular. Change is hard. Absolute change is hard absolutely.

We need change. I am convinced we won’t be a vital church body 20 years from now without some change.

I don’t believe in “blowing up DNA” kind of change, so I’m taking things slow. Or, at least, it seems slow to me.

But, the conviction?

The way I felt about Frosty….

That’s the way many seniors in my church feel everyday.

Sure, you sang “Amazing Grace”, but you didn’t sing it my way. The audacity. They messed with Amazing Grace. Who would mess with the original? How could you possibly improve upon the real thing?

What about the committees? What about the policies? What about the way we’ve always done things?

Why would you mess with the originals?

I understand.

They messed with my Frosty.

I’m not trying to be cute or funny. It was conviction. It was a teaching moment for me.

We do have to change. If we only do church the way it’s always been done…we will only reach who we’ve always reached. And, frankly, I want to reach multiple generations. Even people my children’s age.

Frosty had to change. Not sure how well they did, but to reach a younger audience, there needed to be some changes. My boys are okay with Frosty, but they’d rather watch “Elf”. I can wish they liked Frosty more, but if I want to make sure I get to hang out with them…I’m willing to sit down to watch “Elf”.

(Interesting, I shared this with a friend and he polled his twin 16 year old sons. They prefer “Frosty Returns”. I don’t understand kids these days. :) )

Change is a part of life.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I understand that even better now. Understanding how someone feels…or why they feel that way…helps you plan your approach. It helps you respond to their uncertainties, even their disappointments about change. They aren’t necessarily trying to be difficult. We just can’t expect everyone to immediately think the change is good, needed, or welcomed.

Because, did I tell you?

They messed with my Frosty. The audacity.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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19 thoughts on “A Personal Conviction About Change

  1. Could you imagine a world without the ability to change? Wouldn't that be a world without hope? Thank you for a post about change, I mean hope.

  2. At our age and church backgrounds and what was to us necessary church changes; your article is very welcomed. God can touch us and use anywhere and anytime and it may be the most foreign idea we could imagine and yet we know it's aimed at us. God is the wonder, not us. So many of the strong men in our church have died and their influence and strength seems to have been buried with them. I am disappointed that we have not seen the younger generation move up and learn from the past. God has someone and some direction in mind and I will listen for what he tells me I can still do to fit into his plan. God is with us.

  3. I get it now !! Iheard the sermon Sunday and then Sunday night a touch on it. Great sermon; let's go eat lunch now.The presentation was fine but my ears wandered some. But NOW I GET IT. Its the Elf thing. I hate baseball, I always hated baseball and that was tough growing up with a dad who was a die hard Cardinals fan and a minor league player. He never understood me when it came to baseball. I love golf. I have always loved golf. I will walk 5 miles and carry the clubs on a 100 degree day just to get on at my favorite course. I have two grandsons. They love baseball. I bought them their own golf clubs when they were 4 and 6 years old. They don't care for golf. I am now attending baseball games and going to practice almost every day in the summer. I get to hang out with my grandsons. If changing the church worship to reach younger or even an older demographic feel comfortable, then I am on board. We can sing whatever as long as it brings my grandsons in (or others grandsons and daughters) and we can trade the organ for a banjo if we have to. I like baseball now. I will get comfortable with worship changes. The Elf comment did it.

  4. Empathy! Work It!
    The heart of the Gospel is change. A huge change! A destiny change! Jesus Was An Omnipresent Reality Check That Radically Changed This World! Jesus came “incarnate” in human condition with an eternal edge. Incarnate was the empathetic ushering in of a Kingdom perspective, a Gospel that would radically change earthly viewpoints. This change, through Jesus Christ coming as a human baby, became Empathetic God Goodness, that did not feel or look like anyone expected it too, but under the meek human condition, was powerful Kingdom purpose. Good change, directed by and led by God is like Jesus modeled: Empathy with an eternal edge that ushered in kingdom purpose and gradually leaned us into the Sovereign Sway of AWE-GOD! I did not even watch Frosty Returns, that is how much I “buck up” against change, but because you watched it and others did, I would not be adverse to open myself up to a new thing!! Empathetically so! http://youtu.be/q585_ezBqAE Here With Us By Joy Williams

    Twitter: kmac4him

  5. This is great Ron! I can definitely relate. I think change is harder for some people than others, and even then, only when they choose. Many of the seniors in my church who say change is bad, say it while using an android phone and driving new cars. Guess some changes are ok!

    Your post is great for leaders, to help us consider the thoughts of others as we lead, but ultimately you are right. The change has got to occur. Again, great article

  6. All I can say is, "Great post!" Lots to think about both from the leadership point of view & from the layperson side as well. Thank you for writing this & sharing this. May we have hearts that will embrace the changes the Lord is looking to make.