Change….

This is a guest post from my father, Jim Hatch, who lives in St. Louis, MO, USA.

Change. Is that good or bad? What’s your default attitude toward change? Are you comfortable with change, at least theoretically? How does your church view change? What’s the Scripture’s view?

Change Road SignObviously, the Bible is clear that our God Jehovah does not change. The one constant in our universe is the Lord and his ways. That is clear.

But beyond that? Think about it.

Creation. Out of nothing, the universe. Change.

Regeneration. From darkness light. Change.

Adoption. From enemy to son or daughter. Change.

Sanctification. Growth, progress is grace. Change.

Glorification. The old now new — forever. Change.

I wonder if our typical conservative view of change may need some major tweaking in view of the incredible amount of change we see in the Scripture and in the plan of God. Perhaps like Paul we and our institutions need more often to “become all things to all people” (1 Cor. 9:22). Should perhaps the basic values of our ministries and congregations include a change orientation that leads us to re-envisioning ourselves and our institutions more regularly? If so, the leaders we select should also be so committed…to change.

I’m reminded of the Anglican rector in the UK who said, “Wherever St. Paul went, there was a revolution. Wherever I go, they serve tea.”

Seems to me most conservatives and most of our churches view change negatively. The state of many churches and the needs of our broken world make me wonder if we don’t need to see our attitude toward change….change.

DadJim Hatch recruits church planters for Mission to North America; email him at jhatch@pcanet.org for questions or comments.

My top 10 books from 2014

My blog as been stagnant for a while now due to travels and the fact that we’ve moved house.  Now that we’ve settled into the new place, it’s time for my annual first post of the year – the top books of the previous year.  2014 wasn’t a prolific reading year for me – 24 in total but there were some good ones in there!  Here are the ones which made me think, made me as questions and/or I simply enjoyed reading followed by a quote from the book:

1. A Loving Life by Paul Miller

“Love is what holds all things together, it’s what we’re looking for, it’s what we all need and it’s what we must learn how to give.  But loving people is hard.”

2. How God Became King by N. T. Wright

“the radically new thing God did was nevertheless the thing he’d always promised”

3. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

4. The Dip by Seth Godin

“Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations”

5. The Holy Spirit by Sinclair Ferguson

“While his work has been recognised, the Spirit himself remains to many Christians an anonymous, faceless aspect of the divine being.”

6. Is God Anti-gay? by Sam Allberry

“If someone thinks the gospel has slotted into their life quite easily, without causing any major adjustments to their lifestyle or aspirations, it is likely that they have not really started following Jesus at all.”

7. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller

“No matter what precautions we take, no matter how well we have put together a good life, no matter how hard we have worked to be healthy, wealthy, comfortable with friends and family, and successful with our career — something will inevitably ruin it.”

8. The Art of Non-conformity by Chris Guillebeau

“Unreasonable,” “unrealistic,” and “impractical” are all words used to marginalize a person or idea that fails to conform with conventionally expected standards.”

9. As Far as the Curse is Found by Michael Williams

“We may view covenant history not as a series of disconnected installments but as a single line. Each new covenant presupposes and renews what went before.”

10. The Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler

“My goal is to change the way you think about leadership.”

 

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