Monday, June 01, 2009

Responding to change

Sociologists have studied the differences in the rates at which groups of people respond to new information and ideas and have devised classification schemes based to describe this behavior. One such scheme speaks of innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—with the innovators being the quickest to accept change and the laggards being the last to respond. I thought about that when I ran across a reference to the fact that this past weekend marked the 74th anniversary of the first night game in Major League Baseball history. The Cincinnati Reds played the Philadelphia Phillies on May 24, 1935 under the lights at Crosley Field. Other teams rapidly followed suit and night games became the norm rather than the exception. The last holdout to this trend was the Chicago Cubs. They didn’t play their first night game at Wrigley Field until Aug. 9, 1988, 53 years after the first MLB night game.

Laggards tend to be so tradition-bound that when they finally accept a new behavior or idea, it may well have been rendered obsolete by the innovators who have pushed on to newer frontiers. While we serve a risen Lord who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and while the truths of the Gospel are unchanging, our methodologies and programs must be flexible and adaptive to respond to the ever-changing world in which we live. Time-honored traditions enrich our heritage, but if we’re not careful they can become prisons that entrap us in the past. Let’s not lag behind to the point that we’re left out in the dark.


Anonymous said...

amen to the post, those who lag are good and bad. those who run out front often make the mistake of running in front of God. I notice you have BGCM in your resume'. Glad to see it. I will work with almost anyone to get the Gospel out. Although I have never sent money to the CBF offices, I have send to many missionaries of CBF. I have often wanted to advertise for a church "pastor seeking church with no deacons or elders or leaders who support abortion of homosexually or vote for those who do. All elders, deacons, and leaders must pass a written and oral exam on the Bible as well as a polygraph on their lives and how many problems the have caused in the church. Aall must show church growth and their records for visitation and outreach that helped or hindered that growth."

Go Sooners

GuyMuse said...

Timely post for what is going on today in the SBC on so many levels.

You write, Time-honored traditions enrich our heritage, but if we’re not careful they can become prisons that entrap us in the past. I feel this is a good description of what can be said about much of evangelical work here in Ecuador. Traditions have been elevated to the status of being BIBLICAL. To question traditions is to question the Bible. Of course, when many of these were first introduced, they were controversial and questioned, but today many sacred traditions are an albatross hindering the advancement of the Kingdom.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer, All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident. So true!

Gary Snowden said...


Thanks for your visit. I suspect that your proposal for a polygraph about how many problems pastors had caused in their churches and their outreach and visitation records would discourage a lot of folks from the ministry.

I apreciate your visit, even if you do root for the wrong football team.

Gary Snowden said...


Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I can readily sympathize with your statement about traditions taking on the weight of biblical teachings in some settings.

I haven't commented lately on your blog, but I continue to read it regulary and be blessed by your thinking. I shared one of your recent posts--the one on your conversation with Geovanny about the multiplication of the house churches--with our staff in staff meeting a couple of weeks ago.

Also, congratulations on the milestone of 100,000 page visits. You're really in the big leagues when compared to my by-the-wayside blog, but then your content is outstanding and clearly draws a lot of faithful readers. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

u misunderstand, I would be the pastor seeking the polygraph test on the deacons and elders as to their damange on the church. alas, i recognize there would be little response