One of the books I’m currently reading is Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures To My Students, a compilation of lectures the 19th century “Prince of Preachers” gave to the ministerial students at the Pastor’s College. Spurgeon published more than 1,900 different sermons before his death in 1892.
Check out this passage I came across:
“In order to prevent custom and routine from being enthroned among us, it will be well to vary the order of service as much as possible. Whatever the free Spirit moves us to do, that let us do at once… we will not be bound to sing here and pray there, but will vary the order of service to prevent monotony. Irregularities would do good; monotony works weariness.”
It’s so interesting to me to read these works from the late 1800’s that could work such power in churches today. One of the things I love about serving at Southview is that we have freedom to experiment and try new things, to change and vary and exercise the freedom we have in Christ. As Paul told the first century believers in Corinth, we do whatever it takes “to win as many as possible.” I want that to be true for my brothers and sisters in churches throughout the US and the world – that the idols of “sameness” would fall to the fresh winds and fresh fire of the Holy Spirit’s moving in us and through us.
Change should be a constant as we constantly ask the question “is there a better way to _____?” We must never change the doctrines of Scripture – we don’t have edit rights to that document – but the models and methods we use to reach others around us must always be changing. Jesus taught us that – new wine needs new wineskins that are flexible to hold it.
Have you ever experienced pushback to variety and change in the church?