"If You Want to Keep Getting What You're Getting, Keep Doing What You're Doing"
It seems as though everywhere we turn, we are hearing about the need to restructure, reform and renew. This conversation is happening in nearly segment of our society from politics to education. It’s a conversation that needs to continue, not because they are the latest buzz words, but because we really are in a time of change and we need new structures that are pliable enough to be shaped into new forms.
The quote in the beginning of this article is attributed to Les Brown, a well-known motivator/trainer, and I recall hearing it nearly 20 years ago. Think about that for minute. The mantra of "change" has been ringing out for at least the past 40 years. I understand that change can be a slow process, but that is possibly because, we as humans do not like the idea or the process of change.
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” is another popular quote and was declared by the greek philosopher Heraclitus in the 6th century B.C.E. Years before Les Brown and many others who have spoken to our generation about change, voices were speaking to us about the reality of the changing nature of our world and all things in it.
To bring the point a little closer to home, Jesus reminds us that “no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins." (Mk 2:22). The implication is that “new things-change, requires new structures” to contain them. Of all the quotes mentioned, this one speaks closest to the points I would like to suggest regarding the need for “new models of ministry”.
I know someone may be thinking, O NO, another article bashing the ineffectiveness of our current systems with a call to return to “early Christian” church structures. Well, I am happy to say that is not the point of these discussions. The structures that developed within the early days of the church and the structures that developed during times of renewal and reformation both served as “new wineskins” for that time. Neither of these structures however, are flexible enough in the day we currently live in.
What I want to focus our attention upon, is the possibility I and for us to be as open to to the “idea” of change and what that means to our models of church.