We were at an Assemblies of God Ireland (AGI) conference this past weekend called Engage. One of the speakers was Peter Lynch, an AGI leader. His topic was, “Why We Do What We Do.”
When I was a kid I remember asking my mom, “Why do I have to dress up to go to church? Why can’t I just wear my play clothes? Does the Bible say we have to do it?” After a while, I wore her down. She finally said, “Okay...we dress up so we don’t offend people.” She was absolutely right. While she was definitely doing the wise thing by not letting me wear my stirrup pants and slouch socks to church, it is interesting to think about how much tradition influences our actions.
Perhaps there are parts of our normal ministry experiences that could be molded a bit. What should we do with this line of thinking, though? Should we barrel over tradition for the sake of change?
Peter said that change is about producing something for the Kingdom of God...not just for the sake of change itself. People of God who bring change must be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit has to say above all else.
While being aware of what makes people feel at-home, we have to ask ourselves what the Bible has to say about what ministry should look like. We should use cultural tradition as a guide but rely on scripture as our anchor.
If anyone is still concerned, don’t worry...I got rid of the slouch socks.