Changing form does not mean changing function, but the shape of the church at any time should be what God needs at that moment in history to accomplish His mission. Jesus came to challenge the system of His day, not to suggest there should not be any kind of system, but to emphasize that every system needs overhauling from time to time for the sake of a bigger mission.
We have to be willing to step back and realize why this is so important in today’s church. We need to look at our churches and programs and see them as wineskins. We need to make sure everyone knows the difference between what is TEMPORARY and what is TIMELESS. What are we going to do to make sure that we continue to demonstrate what is transcendent to the world? If our wineskins are old and not able to contain new wine, then we need to change the wineskins.
I sometimes hear people say, “The churches that are changing and innovative are abandoning what is timeless and sacred.” Maybe the churches that aren’t changing and innovative are the ones abandoning what is timeless and sacred. Over time, your responsibility is to make sure you are changing the wineskins and doing whatever you have to do to spotlight what is TRUE.
If you don’t upgrade along the way, a timeless core principle might be lost. An entire generation may not hear or understand TRUTH because you weren’t willing to pay the cost to make changes. (excerpt from p. 17-18 of The Orange Leader Handbook)
What needs upgrading in your church system or ministry?