Several of my posts have suggested that change in your church’s corporate worship may be necessary for your church to thrive and reach the community around you. My friend and counterpart from the Kansas-Nebraska Convention,David Manner, illustrates a radical step churches may need to take when change is needed–burn the boats. Read on:
The legend is told that when Alexander the Great and his men arrived on the shores of Persia they encountered an enemy that drastically outnumbered them. Since it was clear that the odds were against them and the future was uncertain, his men pleaded with Alexander to retreat to the boats and the safety of their homeland to regroup and get more men.
Alexander was so certain that their course of action was the correct one that he ordered his men to burn their boats.
As their only means of retreat went up in flames Alexander turned to his men and said, “We go home in Persian ships, or we die.”
If your congregation has determined that initiating change is necessary for you to retain those people you already have and gain those you don’t have yet…then conversely, failing to initiate change when change is necessary will kill your congregation. The death is usually a slow one…but still terminal.
Conviction and collaboration are the unifying factors that inspire leaders and congregants to refuse to retreat, go all in, and burn their boats even when the implementation of needed change is often frightening and the end result is rarely certain.
Earnie Larson is credited with saying, “Nothing changes if nothing changes, and if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll keep getting what I’ve always got, and will keep feeling what I always felt.”