Principle 2: We welcome changes in ministry practices and plans because we will never reach perfection on this earth. We should always be ready to improve and refine our methods to a better way of doing things.
It’s fairly common in church-world to find people who think nothing should ever change. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” is a popular mantra. But what does God’s Word tell us about change?
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Paul constantly adapted his methodology to his ministry context. He didn’t just change once or twice. He changed continually in order to best reach his target audience.
The core of our message does not change. The truth of God’s Word does not change. The character of God does not change. But our means of interacting with people, reaching them for Christ, and growing them in discipleship must change over time (ideally in small, steady iterations, not alternating periods of stagnation and rapid improvement).
It’s not enough to accept or tolerate change, we have to embrace it as a part of our God-given mandate to go into all the world and make disciples.
The great commission does not require that we change the cultures of others to match our own. It compels us to change our culture to match the people we are reaching with the gospel.
Welcoming change requires humility, trust in God, and treating others as more important than ourselves. We should reject change when it distorts the gospel or abandons sound doctrine. However, resisting change just because it is change is self-centered and sinful (Philippians 2:3-4).
When we embrace change, assuming it is filtered through the Word of God and aligns with sound doctrine, we are admitting that we have not arrived. We are not perfect and, as a result, there will always be room for growth and change.