Church and Change – What is the Appropriate Response?

Renewing the Heart of The Community

Church and Change – What is the Appropriate Response?

by Richard Maloley, Strategic Advisory Board Member

Change has come to Ada and more change is on its way. We at The Community have an opportunity to respond to this change. I spoke this previous Sunday on this topic. Our Strategic Advisory Board has the responsibility to look at the long-term strategy of the church. We look at the opportunity around us, weigh the trajectory against our mission, and then make recommendations to Consistory.

Right now SAB is doing just that. We sent out a Request for Proposal and now we have several developer presentations lined up. Each of these presentations will present a level of change to The Community. So what should our response be?

First, what is change? Change is a movement. Change is evolution. Change happens – it just is. Our response to change is the most important aspect. We can do nothing and ignore the changes. We can do the bare minimum to save face. Or we can lean in, partner, create new relationships, and build a more perfect landscape for our mission to thrive.

Second, I believe that the appropriate response is the latter – we need to lean in and jump with joy at this once in a generation opportunity. Friends this change incites fear in us. We naturally fear the unknown – and this can cause discomfort.

263_592_LRH_4236lflfwI’ve felt discomfort. This is my church. I’ve known no other church. From my birth, to my profession of faith, even to my wedding – seven years – this has been my church. This cross. These walls. Those pews. But it hasn’t always looked like this. The bricks in the back – many of them used to be outside. We, you and I, at one point decided that a change was necessary and we did it. I remember swinging a hammer to help add the office wing. Change is neither good nor bad, it just is. And now our generation has an opportunity to consider changes by discerning some important facts in front of us.

There is fear, uncertainty, and doubt swirling the air. By our nature when we encounter this kind of change, this fear, we pull apart. We begin to question motives and enter into a time of paralysis. Friends I urge you to fear not. Instead lean in to our relationships. 1 John 4:18 tells us that there is no fear in love. That perfect love drives out fear. Be not afraid of the future but be a part of it. Be the ones that shape it. Approach this with the love that I know our Community is capable of.

We have a driving mission: Do Justice, Love Kindness, and Walk Humbly with God. Now is the time for us to hold ourselves to this standard. Beyond that every member of The Community has the opportunity to help SAB and Consistory discern the right course. Give us your input! Pray for our leaders that have been chosen for this task. Keep an open heart and lead with love. Engage with the church and the community as we take a bold step forward.

  • Sunday Schedule

    10:00 am – Service
    Nursery - infants through age 3

    Partway through Service - Children’s Worship: Ages 4-10

    After Service – Cookies and Coffee Social Gathering