A Personal Conviction About Change

I had a convicting experience recently. It was one which will actually help me in the current church work I am doing, but also in the future as I implement change.

One Saturday night during December I went to three church Christmas parties. Cheryl was out of town, so I made a quick pass through each of them. I was watching a football game before I left home and didn’t turn off the television. When I returned home I entered to find a Christmas show on that I had never seen.

It was something called “Frosty Returns.” I apologize if that is your Christmas favorite, but in my opinion…it stinks.

Sorry. Not trying to be rude to the people behind the show, but that’s how I saw it.

It wasn’t “Frosty”. It was “Frosty Returns”. Bad, bad, bad idea. Bad sequel to the original.

I immediately thought…

The audacity. They messed with Frosty. Frosty the Snowman. The classic. The one I watch every year. You can’t improve upon that. You make a mistake as soon as you waste time thinking that you can.

And, why did Frosty need to return anyway? Take a chance on melting again. Take a chance on losing that magic hat.

Who would mess with the original? What’s this world coming to?

How could you possibly improve upon the real thing?

Okay, maybe a little over dramatic…but you get the point. I couldn’t understand the need to change from what has worked for so long.

Then, in the middle of my disgust, it hit me.

Conviction. Between the eyes.

I’m pretty sure it may have been a “gentle whisper” moment.

I’m new in my current church. A 100 plus year old church. Some people in this church have been attending the church longer than I’ve been alive.

We are revitalizing. Transitioning. Making changes.

Not all of them are popular. Change is hard. Absolute change is hard absolutely.

We need change. I am convinced we won’t be a vital church body 20 years from now without some change.

I don’t believe in “blowing up DNA” kind of change, so I’m taking things slow. Or, at least, it seems slow to me.

But, the conviction?

The way I felt about Frosty….

That’s the way many seniors in my church feel everyday.

Sure, you sang “Amazing Grace”, but you didn’t sing it my way. The audacity. They messed with Amazing Grace. Who would mess with the original? How could you possibly improve upon the real thing?

What about the committees? What about the policies? What about the way we’ve always done things?

Why would you mess with the originals?

I understand.

They messed with my Frosty.

I’m not trying to be cute or funny. It was conviction. It was a teaching moment for me.

We do have to change. If we only do church the way it’s always been done…we will only reach who we’ve always reached. And, frankly, I want to reach multiple generations. Even people my children’s age.

Frosty had to change. Not sure how well they did, but to reach a younger audience, there needed to be some changes. My boys are okay with Frosty, but they’d rather watch “Elf”. I can wish they liked Frosty more, but if I want to make sure I get to hang out with them…I’m willing to sit down to watch “Elf”.

(Interesting, I shared this with a friend and he polled his twin 16 year old sons. They prefer “Frosty Returns”. I don’t understand kids these days.)

Change is a part of life.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I understand that even better now. Understanding how someone feels…or why they feel that way…helps you plan your approach. It helps you respond to their uncertainties, even their disappointments about change. They aren’t necessarily trying to be difficult. We just can’t expect everyone to immediately think the change is good, needed, or welcomed.

Because, did I tell you?

They messed with my Frosty. The audacity.

Read more from Ron here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ron Edmondson

Ron Edmondson

As pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church a church leader and the planter of two churches, I am passionate about planting churches, but also helping established churches thrive. I thrive on assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. My specialty is organizational leadership, so in addition to my role as a pastor, as I have time, I consult with church and ministry leaders. (For more information about these services, click HERE.)

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

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