Last Saturday I attended a conference at Ozark Christian College (my Alma Matter) about leading a Church through change. While the conference itself was good I began writing lessons and ideas in the margin of my notes. I ended up with several random lessons that I have no idea what to do with so I thought I would share them here. Maybe one will resonate with you …maybe not.
1. I am not a modern pastor. I looked around at several of the younger to middle-aged pastors and realized I do not fit in. Most of them had their head shaved, wore thick rimmed glasses, had a thin build and a button up shirt to show it off. They carry Mac computers and use cool looking smart phones. I looked in the mirror and realized that the fact I am balding is as close to them I as get. I believe part of life is figuring out who you are, but also who you are not. I am not cool or hip or whatever word people use these days.
2. I miss Church pews. The auditorium at Ozark is now filled with theater type seats. They are nice enough to sit in but I noticed one huge flaw. When the chapel (or Church) had pews you could create a buffer zone around you. Do you know what I am talking about? I would place my Bible to my left and other papers to my right and people knew not to get to close. In chairs, people sit right next to you because that is how they are designed. I need my space. I miss you church pew.
3. The wisdom of outside voices. When you are involved in any situation you tend to become focused on a few ideas and miss other ideas. That is why a counselor or consultant are so vital. We need someone outside of our situation to speak truth to us. This is also the hardest to hear because they do not know the rest of the story. What would people say you should change if they watched your life for a few days?
4. Great speaking doesn’t need PowerPoint. Our speaker for the conference was Jeff Walling. He is an extremely gifted speaker. He tried to use a PowerPoint presentation with his message to enhance it. It was a distraction. While I appreciate technology I want to stand up and say, “It is not always necessary.” I would rather have no technology than technology that is poorly done.
5. The idea of change is easy to accept, a transition is hard. Okay, this one came right from the conference. He actually said this statement or something like it numerous times. He spoke of the dream of leaving Egypt for Israel was a great idea, but getting to the Promise Land was something else. This is true of change in the church but it is also true of all change. A wedding is easy and a marriage is hard. A birth is exciting and raising a child is stressful. Wanting to quit a bad habit is powerful and actually quitting is extremely difficult. Wanting a better life or church or marriage or anything is a great step but making it happen is a long difficult process of change.
That is it for now. I hope something in there touched your heart or mind. I know I was challenged and encouraged on Saturday and now comes the tough part of doing:-)