Summary: All change, even good change, even godly inspired change will receive opposition. How will you deal with it?
I. I would like to commend every person in this room this morning.
A. For the past few years, and especially the last few months we have been
1. Praying for
2. Planning for
3. And implementing changes in our church, that
B. We believe will better allow God to make Himself known to this community, through this church at this time.
C. Change is never easy, and yet; you are still here.
II. Let’s consider some of the things that have changed over the last four years.
A. We no longer use hymnals, but rather most Sunday’s we project the words to songs by video.
B. Although we still sing some hymns, we probably do far fewer
C. The way we take up offering has changed
D. Like this morning, we use more recorded music in worship.
E. Not only do we have a new pastor, but we have a new leadership structure.
F. And some people even say the way we celebrate communion has changed.
G. Some familiar faces have gone, some new faces have come, and some of those new faces have already left.
H. And that is only a partial list of the changes, and yet; we still remain.
III. Change, even good change is never easy.
A. A couple of weeks ago, Maryann and I thought we were going to have to get her a new car.
B. We went and looked at a brand new, 2008 Toyota Camry.
1. As we waited to see a salesperson, Maryann set in the car in the showroom,
a. Her first words,
(1) “I don’t like it.
(2) “I like my Corolla.”
2. Change, even good change is never easy
C. Fortunately, repairs to her car were inexpensive, so she can drive\ her Corolla for another year or so.
D. I didn’t want three hundred and fifty dollar a month payments for the next 5 years anyway.
IV. Change, even good change, even God inspired and directed change is often very difficult for us to accept.
V. This morning, I want to do a little exercise to help us examine the difficulty of change.
A. Everyone find a partner.
1. Now take a good long look at that person; head to toe.
2. Now turn your backs to each other.
B. Next step, change 5 things about your appearance.
C. Now, turn to each other, and see if you can find the five different things.
D. Now, turn your backs again, and change 5 different things,
E. Observe your partner.
F. OK, five more things.
1. Only joking.
2. There’s probably not much left to change except your clothes, and you can’t do that here.
VI. Sometimes those of us that think we are a bit more accepting of change can criticize those who didn’t accept change as readily as we did; BUT what did we learn from this exercise!
A. Change is hard
1. How many of us found it difficult to change even one thing, let alone 5,
2. And ten probably seems like an impossibility.
B. There is only so much change any person can take at one setting.
1. Five changes, perhaps
2. Ten changes, now your getting on my nerves,
3. Fifteen; what are you trying to prove anyway.
C. Some of us really didn’t like changing our appearance, while some probably enjoyed the challenge.
1. Not everyone responds to change in the same manner, and
2. Many people will only respond to change that they initiate.
D. Some of us felt pretty awkward changing even one thing about ourselves.
1. I am comfortable with this look,
2. If I make changes, I will not feel like me.
E. Some of you may not have changed anything,
1. This is crazy,
2. It just doesn’t make sense.
F. How many people have already begun changing those things you changed, back to the way they were before you changed?
VII. Change, even good change is difficult, and even good change will receive some level of opposition, and that is what I want to discuss this morning; “Dealing With Opposition to Change.”
I. I am going to ask you to turn in your Bibles to the book of Nehemiah.
II. If you recall the story of Nehemiah, you will remember that Nehemiah was the man responsible for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem; in how long?
A. Look at chapter 6, verse 15 - “So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.”
1. Nehemiah had a comfortable job, working for a king.
2. He was not mistreated, and evidently well thought of by the king.
B. And yet, Nehemiah had been moved to return to his home country, and rebuild the walls,