After playing the game of baseball for over 20 years and coaching for over 5 years there is one thing that I’ve learned to be true. You could have perfect mechanics and be doing everything right, but still not have success. And the reason for that is because, although your mechanics and technique might be good, your approach is wrong and you need to make some necessary adjustments.
I believe the same is true for the church today. Andy Stanley hit on this point in his message he spoke at the NewSpring Leadership Conference this past Thursday. He used what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth when he said:
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ESV)
Paul was willing to change his approach and make the necessary adjustments in order that he might reach the people he was preaching to. The gospel that Paul preached never changed just the way he presented it did.
The church today seems to be so caught up in their customs and traditions that they are not willing to change their approach in order to reach those that are far from Christ. Our message should never change but we should adjust our approach and presentation. Our theology remains the same just our methodology should change.
I heard a certain pastor tell a story of the struggle he had with his congregation when he was trying to make the necessary adjustments in order to reach the next generation. He finally got up one Sunday and asked the grandparents and parents in the congregation if they would die for their kids and grand kids. Without hesitation they responded with a resounding yes. Then he said but you won’t allow me to change the music or move the organ in order to reach them.
Let us not be so consumed with our customs and traditions that we are not willing to make the necessary adjustments in order to reach those far from Christ. Let us be like Paul and change our approach so that we can reach our family and friends. Let us become all things to all men in order that we might save as many as possible.