Adapt or Die - Pastor Jerry Carter - August 8, 2018

Being the follow up to Janine Metcalf’s ministry and then Bob Luhn’s interim period has been both humbling and challenging. So many great ministries and programs were started by folks like Janine and Bob, and others before them, but the challenge now before us is what to keep when God might want to do a new thing.
New things don’t necessarily mean dumping old things. They became old things because they worked long enough to get old. The real issue is determining which aspects of the old programs still work and which parts need to go? In other words, the message must remain unchanged while our methods need constant updates to keep up with a rapidly changing mission field, church personnel, and tools at our disposal.
When something new is introduced, like say, a new pastor, everything else must adjust to the new reality. Jesus said that to put new wine (a new pastor) into old wineskins (this is the way we’ve always done it or we tried that and it didn’t work) would result in losing both the wineskins and the wine when the old skins inevitably burst open. (Matt 9:17, Mk 2:22).
The painful part in all this, is that different people will come to different conclusions as to what is essential and what is negotiable. And, as we make adjustments and changes, people will leave upset and hurt. Organizationally speaking, this is inevitable and not, necessarily or exclusively, a bad thing. People leaving and programs ending or changing make room for new ideas and new people.
At this point, we have two choices.
We can do again, what we have always done before. We can go into our bag of tricks and bring out our best programs of the past. We can hope and pray this time it will work.
Andy Stanley summed up the results of this choice; “Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing.” Albert Einstein was even more blunt; “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing again and again and expect different results.”
Or, we can start a new adventure.
Your answer lies with this question: Are you at that point in which the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of change. If so, are you prepared to purchase new wine skins by sacrificing your favorite ministry or program (old wine skins) for an unknown future adventure? Let me know the next time you see me.