[anzac] THE FEAR of CHANGE!! - Lee Grady

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 01:11:01 +1200
-by J. Lee Grady.

The Lord wants to unleash a gushing river of new wine into the
church today, but we must leave some things behind.

A woman from Orlando, Fla., was in the news last month because
she decided to retire from driving her 1964 Mercury Comet. Rachel
Veitch, who is 93, bought the car new for $3,300 when gasoline
cost 29 cents a gallon. Today the light yellow car, which Veitch
calls "Chariot," has 567,000 miles on it...

Cars have a life expectancy. Most 1964 Mercury Comets have
long been doomed to the junkyard. Engines die, carburetors rust
and models go out of style, so we trade them in for newer vehicles.
In our fast-paced world, Apple debuts a new iPhone every few
years and the most popular apps have almost monthly updates.
We´ve come to expect frequent upgrades.

Yet for those of us involved in ministry, we tend to think the church
needs no remodeling or renovation. We expect congregations to
hum along perpetually for years and years, thinking the world will
want to pile into our 1964 yellow Mercury Comet and enjoy the
retro ride. But that is a faulty assumption.

While the message of the gospel itself is both timeless and flawless,
the packaging we wrap it in must adapt with the times or we will
quickly lose relevance. Pipe organs, steeples and choir robes...
(The same can be said for telethons on Christian TV that have the
look and feel of a 1978 game show.)

Jesus told John the Baptist´s disciples that people don´t put new
wine in old wineskins because the skins will burst and the wine
will be wasted. "Put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are
preserved," Jesus said (Matt. 9:17, NASB). But many churches
and ministries today insist on pouring their new wine in the old
models, again and again. We resist innovation and we fight progress.

I´m willing to guess that 90 percent of what we are doing in church
today needs a total makeover. We are facing the most daunting
renovation project in the history of the church. But the task is not
impossible. It will require us to take these painful steps:

1. We must break free from the fear of change. God is always on
the move. He might lead us to camp in one spot for a while, but
we can never get too comfortable in one place. His trumpet will
eventually blow and the cloud of His presence will shift. Don´t
park when God is calling you forward. Stay open to His fresh
directives, and expect Him to stretch your faith. He is adventurous!

2. We must be willing to defy tradition. People who are married to
the past cannot embrace the future. Sacred cows do not belong in
the pulpit; they must be sacrificed on the altar. "The way we´ve
always done it" will not work in God´s new season. The crowd
chooses the comfortable pews of nostalgia, but God is with the
courageous few who are willing to blaze a new path into unreached territory.

3. We must ask the Spirit to reveal His new strategies. We cannot
rely on church growth gurus, popular books or rock-star preachers
to lead us into genuine change. Copying spiritual trends is just a
form of carnality-and it is a sad substitute for real innovation. If
the work of transforming the church is not totally led by the Holy
Ghost, then our changes will be shallow and our impact will be
pitiful. The last thing we need is a superficial upgrade.

I believe the Lord wants to unleash a gushing river of new wine into
the church today, but He is directing us to prepare our wineskins.
What is old must be renewed by the Spirit, what is outdated must
be remodeled, and what is ineffective must be replaced. God
wants to do a new thing. Don´t resist it.

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