The Church is a River
It occurred to me a long time ago that the Church is more like a river than a lake. This insight came at a point when I was in several discussions with pastors, leaders, and others involved in churches going through lots of changes and the pain involved.
The image of a river that remains where it is but changes shape and size over the years has continued to be helpful in processing change in NLCC. There are constant small changes behind the scenes that don't affect much publicly, such as computer programs, or schedules, or group requests, or a hundred other details. Some changes are obvious but don't press on anyone's routine or life or ministry. The recent painting of the Fellowship Hall is an example. It looks nicer and is clean and fresh, but it doesn't affect how we do ministry or someone's participation in NLCC.
Some changes are far larger and impact our schedules and the church routine, and so they are more difficult to adjust to. Such as developing rotation teams for Kingdom Kids. We choose to make these kinds of changes because we are trying to improve some ministry or we are trying to start a new ministry. Eventually the new becomes familiar, the wrinkles get ironed out and the new way of life as a church works out well. Of course, there are efforts at change that fail, but it's better to have tested the idea and give it the ol' college try than to stagnate.
The effect over time from all the changes, both chosen and not, is that a church looks very different. Just like a river, over time it looks different in size and shape. But it's the same river. Some things remain the same while some things have changed.
Well, New Life Church looks very different than it did years ago. We do different ministries and in different ways. But we're still here, we're still a Reformed Church, we're still saved sinners trying to follow Christ. There are familiar faces and new faces, old stories and new stories.
No one size or shape of a particular river is the perfect one for that river. Instead, each era, each phase of that river's history is beautiful. There is history in a river's life and it is filled with floods and dry seasons. All of it goes into making it something that each generation enjoys or gets to know.
New Life Community Church has been, is, and will be changing. That's life as a church. Please keep praying for the Lord Jesus to lead and watch over us all so that through the seasons the choices we make and the challenges we face might reveal to us His glory and lead others to love Him more.