Pastor JP: Transition Brings Faith, Opportunity
“How are things going at your church, JP? I’ve heard there have been a lot of changes.”
“Yep, you’ve heard correctly. We’ve been going through a time of change and transition. How are things at your church?”
“JP, how are you holding up through all the changes?”
“Thanks so much for asking. It’s been hard at times. I’m trusting in Jesus. How are you holding up?”
“JP, what’s going to happen with ________________?”
“That’s a good question. Thank you for caring about our church. I’m not sure. We’re seeking the Lord’s will and praying for wisdom. Please pray along with me.”
From the move into a new facility to saying goodbye to staff members to seeking new staff members, it has been a season of change for ABC. On top of that, I know that many of you are going through your own set of changes and transitions that range from a new baby to a new job and everything in between.
I have a love/hate relationship with change. On one hand, I hate change. I like routine. I like consistency. I like familiarity. If you look at pictures of me through the years, my hairstyle has changed very little, except I just have less of it to work with now. My sense of fashion has changed very little in terms of colors and styles. I still go for darker tones (for the slimming effect!) and I was wearing plaid long before before plaid became so hipster!
On the other hand, I love change. And that’s usually when looking back in hindsight, which is always 20/20 right? Change brings excitement and renewed energy. Change creates opportunity for creativity. Change allows new people to step in and step up with new ideas that yields new results. Change may be hard when you go through it, but it’s all worth it at the end of the day.
I believe we are turning the corner with all the changes that have been happening. This doesn’t mean the changes have totally ceased as change is always happening around us. The one constant about change is that change is constant. But at some point, we go from saying, “We’re in transition,” to accepting the changes and saying, “We’re moving forward!” I believe that point has come, and we have much to celebrate.
First and foremost, I celebrate the unchanging faithfulness of God. Change is always an opportunity to deepen our trust in God. There have been many moments during this past year when I was brought to my knees in humble dependence upon God. And He has proven Himself faithful over and over and over again. At a recent elders meeting, Ken Collins shared this excerpt from a devotion that had touched his heart:
“The delight that the sailor feels when, having been tossed about on the waves, he steps again upon the solid shore is the satisfaction of a Christian when, in all the changes of this distressing life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth—‘I the LORD do not change.’ The stability that the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a solid hold is like that which the Christian’s hope provides him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth. With God ‘there is no variation or shadow due to change.’”
Second, I celebrate the resilience of our church family. You have been amazing. I see people bouncing back from all the changes with renewed focus, energy, and commitment. I see people stepping up and stepping into new roles. I see people loving, serving, praying, and simply doing life together with others.
Finally, I celebrate the direction that God is taking us in. This does not mean I know exactly what the destination will look like, because I don’t. But what I do celebrate is that God is the One who is leading us. He is moving within our midst and moving us to where He wants us to be, and perhaps more importantly, what He wants us to be. What has remained unchanged in my 10 years at ABC is the firm belief that God is in this. Whatever highs and lows, changes and transitions, we go through as a church, God is in this.
“To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21)