In 1870, the Methodists were having their annual conference in Indiana. The presiding Bishop was asking a group for an interpretation of current events, when the president of the college where the conference was held volunteered his input: “I think we are living in a very exciting age. I believe we are coming into a time when we will see wonderful inventions. I believe we will fly through the air like birds!” Bishop Wright, visibly disturbed by this scientifically based comment proclaimed, “This is heresy, this is blasphemy; I read in my Bible that flight is reserved for the angels. We will not have such talk here in my area.” And then he returned home to his two young sons, Orville and Wilbur.
No one likes change except a wet baby and they cry through the whole process. Change is a part of life each day.
Change is a challenge to every person and every church. It is often the thing we fight over because we tend to default back to what is convenient and easy, not what will bring about kingdom results.
If one is going to excel personally, professionally they are going to have to constantly change. The opposite of change is stagnation. If one chooses to have an impact on his world, he must fight against stagnation. If you hear any of these words from yourself or leaders in your church, perhaps you are on the road to stagnation.
What are Seven Attitudes of Stagnation?
- WE HAVE NEVER DONE IT THAT WAY.
- WE ARE NOT READY FOR THAT YET.
- WE ARE DOING ALRIGHT WITHOUT IT.
- WE TRIED THAT ONCE BEFORE AND IT DIDN’T WORK.
- IT COSTS TOO MUCH.
- THAT IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
- IT JUST WILL NOT WORK HERE.
Fight Stagnation. Embrace Change. It is inevitable!
If you always do what you have always done, you are always going to be what you are right now.
Four steps to break out of a rut. A rut is just a grave dug out at both ends!
- ASSUME responsibility for your own life. Refuse to be either an Excuser (rationalize failure) or an Accuser (blame others). Instead, be a CHOOSER and choose to break out of the rut you are in.
- BELIEVE you can change! Stop saying “I cannot” and start saying “I can.” (Phil. 4:13)
- CLARIFY what you really want. Write down specifically how you would like to change.
- DO NOT WAIT for ideal circumstances. Stop saying “When things settle down.” Do it now! “One of these days” is really NONE of these days. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.” (LB)
Churches need to fight stagnation too. Remember… the Gospel is all about change and transformation through Jesus Christ. The time to change is now.