I was listening to Craig Groeschel at the North American Christian Convention in Kansas City and was struck by something he said:
There was a sharp intake of breaths across the room when he said that. I suspect his words will be quoted in blogs like this one, and perhaps whispered furtively in a few staff meetings, but few church leaders are likely to have the guts to implement it.
Change brings discomfort, but many of us are careful to balance the occasional change with seasons of respite from change. The notion of keeping the hornet’s nest stirred up continually is an unpleasant prospect.
I remember being a young adult in the church and was just ideal enough to actually believe that the Baby Boomer generation was going to embrace change … perpetually. I was sure we’d remember why so many of our friends left the church over the worship wars. But as a consultant and a pastor, I can tell you I’m sorely disappointed with my generation. We have become as inflexible in weathering discomfort for the sake of the gospel as our parents and grandparents were. In the words of a rather raucous song, “I’m my own grandpa.”
Pursue continual discomfort. Focus on reaching the culture. Keep the changes coming. Be content to be discontent. Sacrifice for Jesus’ sake. Do whatever it takes to deliver the life-changing gospel to those who have no use for the church. And if you can’t embrace continual discomfort, then learn to be content in a church that will die. Probably soon.