The move of God is pictured in the scriptures as a river consistently from Genesis to Revelation. That is a powerful picture of progress… of progression. Not of a fear of change. Of course, with God there is only love – the opposite of fear. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it could be said that in the church – I’d settle for just one church – for just one day – there was a freedom from fear. Alas, that won’t happen this side of heaven. Humans are fear carriers, even when we are adept at walking in the Spirit, agreeing with the direction of God.
The image of a river is a magnificent picture that stands in contrast to human nature – which is all about the opposition to change – the ultimate digging in of the heels of the human soul.
At this point in my journey I have compiled so many stories of “leaders” who mouth “I’m open to change” or even “We are hungry for change” but 100% of what they do is antithetical to any change that will open the door to what might allow newcomers in to hear of Jesus’ love, experience his presence. These stories are so funny and absurd, people laugh until they cry, then they realize, “Wow, that’s a true story?… What a weird planet / church we are a part of… it is embarrassing.”
A person sitting in an audience or someone sitting in a chair at a board meeting (“bored” is more accurate) with their arms crossed says so much about human nature that goes unchecked.
What is leadership about if it is not to challenge people to oppose their lower nature by appealing to God for his presence to intervene in our behalf… that we humble ourselves in his presence. We realize that unless he breaks through on our behalf human nature will take charge of all that goes on. The result? What is called the “Church” will become the “church” – small “c” instead of the everlasting, ever-living bride of Jesus.