Disney World Dumbo Picture

This past weekend my husband and I drove to a different Academy to exchange some snow boots. I drive past this area frequently, but did not realize there was an Academy at this location, because all the shopping centers around it are vacant.  We commented on all the empty shops and wondered how long ago this had been a hopping spot.  It made me stop and think, wow if you don’t keep with the times, with what people want and need, you can also become irrelevant. 

Irrelevance was the exact topic we were talking about with our life group last night.  Irrelevance can be true with people just like it can be with businesses.  If you never progress and do not continue to learn about people and grow with the times, you can be stuck in the old and become irrelevant.  The world around you is constantly changing, but how you approach it sometimes needs a modification.  This does not mean you throw out your core principles and just go with what society deems as important.  It doesn’t mean that you don’t take a stand for your beliefs.    It does mean that you keep changing, learning, and evolving.  This will keep you fresh, and gives you the ability to “communicate timeless truths”.  

We know our bread and butter church members.  The people who grew up going to church, want to raise their family in a church, and who attend church frequently.  But what about those that can’t and don’t?  How do you reach them?  If you are doing the exact same things you have always done, and it still doesn’t make a difference and does not reach new groups of people, why would you not change?  Why would you not try to show them God’s message and God’s love in a way that reaches them?  

If we did not learn a long time ago that people have different learning styles and we just stuck with one teaching method, we would still be missing out on a vast majority of learners.  We learned, we adapted, and we are now able to reach more students and help them be successful.  

What if we do the same thing with God’s message?  
Don’t feel silly about thinking outside the box, or approaching the subject in a different manner.  
Keep the importance, keep the message strong, but help others feel more comfortable.  

Going to church may be a new experience, just like going to Disney World your first time is a new experience. Maybe you have not even been to Disney World.  Let me tell you, if you just show up and walk through that gate it can be completely overwhelming and you could miss riding half the rides, or miss seeing the glorious shows, or eating some of the best treats.  But, if you go in with prior knowledge, a plan, and feel confident you can have a completely different experience.  The same goes with people new to religion, if they aren’t reached, if they don’t understand, they can show up for the same church service as you and be completely lost.  They don’t know where to go, they don’t know where to sit, and they can be so nervous about doing something wrong that they miss the best part of the sermon.  

We need to take the time to reach new groups, we need to not be afraid to grow in order to meet the needs of a continuously changing world.  It doesn’t mean to change the message.  It means to not be afraid to change how we convey the message, how we can reach others.  And yes, change can be very hard for some, in fact it can be quite painful.  But, don’t get stuck in the past.  Don’t become that vacant shopping center.  The world is still shopping, they just chose to do their shopping elsewhere.  The world is going to keep moving right along, if you want to be a voice in the change, if you want to be able to relate to others, to spread your beliefs, you have to be able to reach others by evolving, and not resisting change.  

Don’t be afraid to learn, evolve, and grow as a person. 

Quotes from: Didn't See it Coming by Care Nieuwhof

Picture: Disney World a few years ago, back during my single momma days.  Please note; that is my mom in the background photo bombing our attempt at a selfie.  Also, maybe one day, I will learn where to look in the camera during a selfie...maybe...so awkward

November 29, 2021 — Brandi McDonald

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