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Consider the following: the mindset of this Fall’s incoming college freshmen. They were born around 1998. They have no meaningful recollection of the 9-11 attack on America. Their whole life has been lived in the current war on terror. They do not understand the Cold War, nor have they ever feared a nuclear war. They have lived all their lives with computers and the World Wide Web. The expression, “You sound like a broken record,” means nothing to them. They have never owned a record player. They have only known the Compact Disc and cassettes are as nostalgic as it gets for them.

These incoming freshmen have always had cellular phones. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, let alone a black-and-white TV. They have always had cable. There have always been DVD’s, and they have no idea what BETA is. They cannot fathom life without having a remote control. They do not know what a Sony
Walkman is. Roller-skating has always meant inline for them. And can you believe they do not know who Johnny Carson was?

For these freshmen, popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave; in fact, most
microwaves now have a button for “popcorn”! Most of them do not know who Larry Bird is. They never heard, “Where's the beef?” or “de plane, de plane.” As far as they understand, we have always known where the Titanic is located on the seafloor. And finally, they cannot fathom using an outhouse for their primary, let alone only, restroom.

Everyone has had changes that were forced on them, whether comfortable or not; whether welcomed or not. In the same way, our modern age often forces us to do things differently because of all the recent advancements.

Some changes are good—even welcomed. Not all change is hard to accept. (Thank you indoor plumbing. Good bye outhouse!)

Another welcomed change will be when we walk into heaven. Paul tells us that on that day, we will all be changed; essentially meaning, we will all have a new body (I Corinthians 12:51). Who does not look forward to that kind of change!

Many have pointed out the obvious: “Change is inevitable.” True! Now brace yourself . . there are most likely some major changes just around the corner for you precisely as you are reading this—health, career, family, church, you name it.

Someone will always say, “If it’s not broke . . . don’t fix it!” But do you practice that with your car? Of course not, we change the oil and change the tires and change the fluids. Why? To assure the car continues rolling down the road.

Maybe there is a question to consider: How well do you accept the inevitability of change? Do you consider yourself flexible? If you have ever watched an airplane’s wing bounce up and down in flight, it can be a little unnerving. It looks like its about to fall off. Truth is, if a plane’s wing was not a little flexible—if it were too rigged—it would be torn off by the speed of the wind currents. It is precisely the flexibility of the wing that keeps it from being ripped off the fuselage. If change is inevitable, and oftentimes a good thing,
then our flexibility in accepting change would be wise.

Church is often under change. From generation to generation the message is still the
same, but the methods of sharing that message differ. After all, it is impossible to reach an MP3 generation with 8 Track methods. (Some are asking, “What’s an 8 track?” and others are asking, “What’s an MP3?”).

Yes, the church will continue to make changes to better reach the unchurched. Yes, we
will continue to modify our technology and our facility and our methods. The way church is done will most-likely change often. But do not confuse these changes with a changing message. The message is still the same, we are all fallen sinners in need of a savior, and His name is Jesus!

[Ron Otto, preaching minister at Lincoln Christian Church]


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