In January we will be reading and teaching through the book of Proverbs at actionchurch. Please don’t make a “resolution” this year, instead, I want to challenge EVERYONE to make a commitment to read one chapter from the book of Proverbs each day in January. Just five minutes a day can connect you with one of the most rare and valuable things on earth-Wisdom. Each Sunday we’ll talk about some of the big themes from Proverbs…and favorite verses from that weeks readings.
This week I’ll be sharing some of the wisdom I’ve picked up in 2010…starting with this most valuable lesson I learned this year:
Remember being a teenager? Are you a parent of a teenager? If so, you KNOW all to well that Growth=Change+Pain (for everyone involved :-) ) Transitioning from a child to an adult doesn’t happen without change…physical change, psychological changes, attitudinal changes. If that change doesn’t happen growth doesn’t occur. When those changes do happen, pain, angst, and emo bands ensue.
Change is necessary (and painful) at every turn in life. Couples experience it when they transition from being “just the two of us” to a family raising children. They experience it again when their children grow up and move out to start new lives of their own. At every turn, the pattern God created for sustaining life here on earth involves growth…change…and yes, pain.
As a church we’ve experienced this first hand in 2010. At every turn it seemed that we were being called to make changes. In 2010 we’ve changed our mission statement (remember when we were a “church for people who don’t like church”instead of a church who “Loves God, Loves People, and Takes action”)? We’ve changed our venue, and many of our key crew members have changed positions of leadership, some key leaders have even transitioned to other churches here in York. At times it seemed that every decision came with two “answers: One that was relatively easy and painless (but would not be healthy for the church)…and One that was extremely painful and uncomfortable (but could lead to the growth of the church and a “win” for those who still hadn’t heard the good news of Jesus.) Every change that is leading to growth today came with a healthy dose of pain.
There are no short cuts…there are very few “easy” solutions in church leadership or life.
Here’s the good news I have for you if you are considering making some changes in your life that are good, Godly changes that will lead to growth: It will hurt…but it will be worth it. I am thankful for every difficult decision to change we made in 2010. I am not happy about the pain it brought to all of us involved…but I am still so glad we chose the pain of change and growth over the “easy” choices that lead to decay, stagnation, and eventually death.
What Changes did you make in 2010 that lead to growth…and pain? What did you learn in 2010?