So were you taken by surprise on Saturday that apart from voting for Councillors and for a Mayor you also had to vote on a possible change to the Constitution? And if you hadn’t given it much thought (if any), what was your instinct? My guess, for most of us, the instinct was to vote “no”. We’re a bit sus of change.
Regardless of this particular result, Australians have a well documented tendency to say “no”. Australians almost always say no to referendum questions. Only 8 out of 44 referendums since 1906 have been carried. That’s a whole lot of no’s for the occasional yes… No. No. No. No. No. No. Yes. We’re very sus of change.
Of course we’re different at church. Aren’t we? You know the old joke: “how many Presbyterians does it take to change a light bulb?” Answer: “change?”.
We have seen in 1 Corinthians this term that there is one thing we must never change: the gospel. We have also seen that faithfulness to that gospel will demand many other changes in how we share it (see 1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Fixed on the message. Flexible on the methods. Unchanging gospel. Ever-changing gospel mission.This may mean we need to unlearn our anti-change instinct. Our “no” instinct. Just look at the change Apostle Paul was forever embracing in order to stay effective in gospel mission.
Every letter in the New Testament called churches to some sort of change. It would be arrogant to presume we’d be any different. Indeed, unless we’re claiming perfection, change is always needed.
It’s worth thinking that through as we build to Connect 09, a year of mission. The definition of insanity is to keep on doing what you’ve always done and expect different results. If we have an inkling that there exists the possibility of a much more vibrant and effective mission to the unbelievers of our city than we have ever seen to date… change will be needed. New ideas will need to be met with a … YES. Calls to step out of our comfort zones will need to be met with a …YES. Changes in our personal priorities will need to be met with a …YES. God given opportunities will more than ever need to be met with a… YES.
Practice it now. “YES”. Amen brothers and sisters.