Millions of people will watch the Super Bowl on TV this Sunday. Unfortunately for Dallas Cowboys fans, our team will also be watching instead of playing. The teams who make it to the Super Bowl deserve every bit since they worked hard and made necessary changes with their leaders, players, and staff. If someone is no longer contributing to the team’s success, they may better serve in another team, even if that means retirement. Everyone and everything has a season.
The church is facing a critical time as the world has undergone a major shift in the wake of the pandemic. Many churches have experienced a decline in attendance and a reduction in offerings; some have even had to close their doors. To avoid becoming a part of the statistics of a dying church, it is imperative that we make necessary changes today with staff and leadership.
One of the most significant changes we need to make is to adapt to the changing times. In the corporate world, as with a professional football team, when something is no longer working, it is often necessary to restructure or get rid of it. The same holds true for the church. If we cling to old methods and ideas that are no longer effective, we will be left behind. The church must embrace new ideas, new technologies, and new ways of outreach if we are to reach the next generation.
Another critical change that needs to be made is to embrace new leadership. Jesus once said, “You don’t put new wine in old wineskins.” This means that as the church changes and evolves, the leadership must also change. Old leaders have limitations and tunnel vision and need to step aside to make way for the future. This church needs a new vision with new leaders who can see a future different from sustaining the status quo.
Since last year, over 2,000 churches have disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church. This division results from different opinions and theological interpretations of the Bible about human sexuality, among other theological matters. While it is heartbreaking to see our church denomination breakup, church splits and disagreements have existed since the beginning of the church. However, it is also an opportunity for growth and renewal and should not deter us from continuing our mission of furthering the kingdom of God.
As we look to the future, we cannot predict it based on the past. Everything has a season, and it is time for the church to embrace change and make way for the future. The mission of Jesus is to save the lost, heal the sick, and comfort the brokenhearted. This mission cannot be achieved by clinging to old ideas and methods. It requires a new vision, new leadership, and a willingness to embrace change. When we embrace change and make necessary adjustments to programs, staff, and lay leadership, the church will continue to be a beacon of hope in a dark world.
Whatever team wins the Superbowl Sunday, it is clear that the Dallas Cowboys needs to make necessary changes today to increase their chances for a brighter future.