Changing Our Minds On The Fear of Change
People hate change.
They fear change, don’t want change, and won’t accept change. Far too often we avoid new ideas because it means that something in our ministries will have to change. Change has become a word more feared and vilified in churches than many cuss words. But the message of the gospel is change. The message of Christ crucified is life altering, thought transforming, heart softening, all-encompassing change for the believer. When Peter believed in the gospel everything changed. When Paul believed in the gospel everything changed. When you believed in the gospel everything changed. We must work to teach our students to have a healthy perspective on change, because change is the very thing we work and hope and pray for in their lives.
What makes change more difficult for our students is that we ourselves struggle with it.
But not change in general, as I said, we are praying for change. As leaders we struggle to minister through the changes we didn’t expect. We have difficulty making the changes we don’t want to make. We stress over the changes that truly affect the ways we minister. We struggle to accept these changes and focus on God’s plan for the future. The reality is, if we want more students to come to youth group, more students to hear the gospel, more students to be saved, then we must embrace the fact that change is required.
When Jesus begins to tell his disciples that he will suffer they respond with doubt, fear, and indignation. The disciples had a plan to follow Jesus, the Christ, into his new kingdom. They would be conquering rulers setting their people free and indulging in the new Jerusalem. But Jesus had to help them change their understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven. Then he changed their vision for how to proclaim that kingdom. With a healthy view of change, Peter went from the disciple who denied even knowing Jesus out of fear to one who was martyred in his name.
As leaders, we must seek out wisdom from God to transform our hearts and minds.
We must pray, look to Scripture, collaborate with other leaders, and strive to reach more students with the gospel. When the Lord grants us new ideas and insight into how we can minister better, we must be bold to pursue those changes. And we can be confident that although change may be scary it is also a vital part of ministry. We can be confident that Christ came into the world to change it and we are agents of change.
A.C. Caswell is the Pastor of Student Ministries at Camelback Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ. He has passions for reaching students with the Gospel and for developing more leaders to work together in this mission. You can connect with him on Twitter @elsietevii.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.