Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue!
No…I am not getting married again…Amy and I are good!!! I am not even going to talk about marriage. I wanted to take this week’s blog entry to tell you about some changes that will be happening over the summer in regards to our Evening services.
Something Old: Our evening service experiment that we have worked on this year has met with various wins, but overall, we feel like we need to do something a little different. For the month of June, we will be suspending our evening service for a couple of reasons. One, our staff team is committed in June to multiple events, weddings, and camps and most of those things will be taking place on Sunday nights. We have Celebrate Good Times at Hanging Rock Camp on Sunday June 4th, Nic leaves for Jr. High Camp Sunday June 18th, and Nic and I both leave for High School Camp on Sunday June 25th. The other reason we are suspending services in June is to work on retooling what we plan to offer on Sunday Nights starting in the fall.
Something New: Starting Sunday July 2nd at 6pm we will resume our evening programming with some new things… First, we will still have a music and communion service that will begin at 6pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend together, adults and Jr./Sr. High Youth alike. Nic will then be hosting some fun events each night for our Jr. and Sr. High Youth, while the adults will have two choices, they can either attend a video cast of the sermon from that morning followed by a short discussion group that will allow those in attendance to process what they heard and share some time in fellowship; OR they can choose to join the latest installment of our four week Brady Lane 101 – our new attenders class that helps people learn more about Brady Lane Church as well as help them get more plugged in to our family. We will end the Summer Season on the last Sunday Night in July with a short Celebration Music Service followed by a church cook out, which all the church family is encouraged to attend. More information will be shared about this in the weeks to come.
Something Borrowed: from my personal Bible study time this morning…I looked at a sermon outline – Dealing With Change by Ed Wood on May 24, 2007
DEALING WITH CHANGE
INTRO: Heraclitus said no one could step in the same river twice. So it was and so it is. The rivers keep moving and the world keeps changing. If Alvin Toffler was right in his book Future Shock, the only difference in our day from that of the past may be a more rapid rate of change.
Simon Peter’s experience with Cornelius gives us four lessons about dealing with change.
I. GOD OFTEN INITIATES CHANGE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH (10:1-8).
The story does not start with Peter but with Cornelius, who was not a member of the church. As a God-fearer, he attended the synagogue and was sympathetic with Christians. In the middle of the afternoon, this Roman officer was visited by an angel who told him to send men to Joppa to bring Simon Peter.
ILLUS: After hearing of a solo-around-the-world journey in a sailboat, a group began to discuss the navigation problems involved. Someone said that ancient sailors used stars to steer by, but the helmsman had to keep changing stars all night because the heavens appear to move at night, to rotate. If a sailor bore toward the same star, he would simply steer his ship in circles, and would never arrive at his destination.
Getting somewhere requires change. It requires growth. As we look around our community, what changes are crying out for us to make in order to reach our community?
II. ALL OF US RESIST CHANGE (10:9-16).
Simon Peter was on the housetop of Simon the tanner when the Lord commanded him about eating all kinds of animals. Although a voice told him three times to eat, Peter refused. Notice that Peter never did eat! (10:13-16)
ILLUS: A railroader told a story about a young engineer making his first run. After noticing the old engineer’s routine, the young man asked, “Why do you tap the wheels before leaving?” The veteran replied: “I don’t know. The engineer who taught me tapped the wheels and I never thought to ask.” But some do ask! And sometimes we are resistive to change.
III. PROPOSED CHANGE SHOULD BE VERIFIED IN SEVERAL WAYS (10:17-48).
Peter was inwardly perplexed at first, but events were unfolding that would help him understand this change was from God. Almost immediately after his vision, Cornelius’ men arrived from Caesarea and asked Peter to go with them. The next day they went to Caesarea to see Cornelius.
Cornelius related how God had spoken to him. Simon Peter opened his mouth with insight, “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality” (10:34). When Peter stopped speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on the gentiles (10:45).
Not all of our ideas about change come from God. But change from God can be verified. In this story from Acts 10 there was: 1. A vision; 2. God sent his messenger; 3. The Holy Spirit fell on everyone.
IV. GOD’S PEOPLE MUST BE OPEN TO CHANGE (11:1-18).
The Judeans did not enthusiastically greet the outpouring of the Spirit on all people. Peter told the story of how God had showed him the need for change. Since the change was from God, how could he oppose God (v. 17). The people were silenced (v. 18).
Some people think that change is wrong. That those who want to change are only fanatics or radicals. But, people of God who bring change are to be sensitive people. They must sense what God wants to do in their world today.
Something Blue: As I reflect on this lesson/sermon outline from Ed Wood for my personal study today…it helped me to process the changes that sometimes come in ministry. Sometimes when we look at the numbers and the impact in relation to the effort that has to be put in it can make us a little blue when we don’t see the results we had hoped and prayed for. When those seasons come, we have to evaluate what we are doing and examine God’s will and seek his plan to see if there are changes that are needed. Sometimes changes come because of circumstances outside our control. Sometimes changes come because of things that force our hand. Sometimes changes come because we feel like God is moving us in a different direction, and when those kinds of changes come, we must heed them, forget personal preference, and see what is best for the church as a whole.
As we spend the summer evaluating our Sunday Evening Programming pray for us to receive all of our direction from God, help us to trust Him to lead us where we are supposed to go, and pray that we make an even bigger impact than we have been able to make so far.