Today I am sharing a blog that Mark Batterson just posted. This topic is something I think about often as I work with declining churches. Yesterday during a phone conversation someone asked me: “why do we so strongly resist change?” See previous posts on this topic here. My favorite is “Insanity in the Church” and “Why Do People Resist Change.” For those of you laboring in the harvest I want to encourage you not to give up. Growth = Change. John Maxwell put is wisely when he said “All change may not represent progress, but without change there can be no progress at all.” Would love to hear your comments in regard to implementing change.
THE LAND OF UNFAMILIARITY by Mark Batterson
We naturally gravitate toward what is familiar. Once we find a place to sit, we’ll sit there every time. Once we find a favorite dish, we’ll stop trying new things on the menu. Once we get into a routine, it’s next to impossible to get out of it. As the old adage put it: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Or can you?
Most of us live most of our lives in the land of the familiar. We never cross the border intothe land of unfamiliarity. Why? Because unfamiliarity is full of uncertainty. We know that is where life’s greatest discoveries are to be made, but we don’t dare cross the bridge of risk.
Here’s out it plays out spiritually. God moves in a profound way and we don’t know what to do so we do what we’ve always done. We return to the land of familiarity. We quickly sing a song or pray a prayer. Is there anything wrong with that? No. But that is the land of the familiar. Maybe God wants to give you a new song, a new vision, a new gift.
Remember what it says about Abraham? “He went even though he didn’t know where he was going.” He ventured into unfamiliar territory. No map. Just a compass. Most Christians want a map, but God gives us a compass. His name is the Holy Spirit. He points us and prompts us and stirs us. He is the voice behind us saying “this is the way, walk in it.” And he always leads toward the land of unfamiliarity. But we don’t want to have to rely on hearing His voice so we settle for the land of the familiar. And that is where most of us die. We die of familiarity. We’re buried in the land of familiarity.
If you want to experience God in a new way, you can’t keep doing the same old thing.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass. New things I now declare.”