We all have experiences in life which can be super helpful for ourselves, and the people we come into contact with.
One assembly I remember vividly contained this question – would you rather see an older doctor who was covered in blood and muck, but who was very experienced. Or a young doctor, fresh out of college, who was wall presented.
I can’t speak for my peers, but give me the doctor who has been doing it for a while!
Experience counts in so many places. But, as Christians, wisdom that comes from God trumps experience EVERY SINGLE TIME.
The thing is, we can easily become complacent and end up just going through the motions of ‘what we know’, rather than trying something new and ‘trusting God’ – this is a large reason why the established church is shrinking all round the world, because those who have the power and control over a church all too often settle for what they knew, rather than what God is saying.
It’s even got a name – the Kodak effect.
Kodak was a market leader. Their name was THE name for film! We see it in the credits of uncountable movies.
However, when digital media started to surface as a ‘thing’ they made a cataclysmic decision for their business, and ignored digital media, sticking with the traditional strips of film they’d made their business out of.
We all know what happened to Kodak. Their gamble was that the better quality produced by strips of film, would always win…it didn’t! Digital media didn’t go away - Kodak did!
We see this mirrored in churches stuck in the 1980s syndrome. I’ve read countless articles on this specific phenomenon.
So why are they stuck in the 1980s? Well, simply because the people running those churches grew up in the 1980s, and prefer the music and styles of worship and so on from that decade.
Twas ever thus! But here is hope – the Bride of Christ is always growing, and exponentially where we see persecution of Christians.
But as believers in Jesus Christ, we need to ‘throw off everything that hinders’. And that includes a lot of what we think of as ‘church’ which simply is not.
I’ll be even more blunt and direct than normal!
When Covid-19 struck the world I was really excited at the potential for the established church because they were presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to reassess what church should look like. ‘we’ve always done it this way’ simply became an irrelevant impossibility with virtual services.
At that moment we were in full-time ministry and my first thought was. “Fantastic – now we have an opportunity to focus only on what matter and throw away the rubbish that clutters up church programmes for children and youth; we can get back to the bible and teaching the word to the people we’re serving, because there is nothing else we can easily do via a home-made video.
How wrong I was. And how badly did I underestimate our instinctive to cling on to what we feel and see as comfortable and familiar!
Our own BerryBunch.family website was created out of this very need for bible based, family friendly material – which puts God first and last, for all who believe in Jesus, no matter their age!
Too many churches simply opted for colouring in sheets.
Now I’ve got nothing against using colouring to help children and adults grow in their faith. It is a brilliant tool! And I’ve used it countless times, but when, as we saw, that is all that is offered, we’re not just devaluing children and insulting both them and God, but we’re also simply leaning on our understanding and doing what we’ve always done, because we’re too afraid of change.
If Christianity teaches us nothing, it is this – becoming a Christian is about starting a lifelong journey of change: one that NEVER ENDS. Because if you’re not changing, and growing in your faith of, and with, Jesus Christ - you’re simply not walking with Jesus at all. It really is that simple! Scripture doesn’t give us any wiggle room. In fact the bible tells us that ‘God will simply not look at those of us who are not living a life of faithful obedience’ [and, therefore, change]. Ouch!
So let’s never be afraid of change as Christians. The one certainty of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is that we have the Master Craftsman on constant watch over us to help us change to become more like His Son
And, after all, if you’ve decided to follow Jesus Christ, you’ve already made the biggest change you will ever be able to make in your life. Nothing else can ever compare to that decision to let God into your life, so He can change you into the very best version of yourself than you can be!
So another Andy B 2 Minute Video.
I'm gonna to continue my look at how replacing one part on my Mountain Bike is giving me loads of lessons for life, and loads of life lessons. It's really interesting!
One little bike part!
This one is all about, erm, Wisdom Trumping Experience.
And part of the problem with the world, as I see at the moment, is it's all about how I feel, what I've experienced, what I know. And we've lost the plot! We've lost the point.
The point of Scripture, as a Christian, is you've got something that never changes. God's word never changes. It's the same yesterday, today and forever!
Therefore, it's something we can trust.
It's a plumb line and It gives us a straight line. It gives us a moral compass.
And when we start to think, well, we don't like that bit of Scripture, we'll scrub that out 'cos we don't like that. And we feel this, therefore, we'd get rid of that.
And we've lost the point of being a Christian.
The point of being a Christian is not to make Christianity fit around us, but for us to become more like Jesus Christ.
And we do that by dying to self. By letting go of who we were.
Now this bike part that I replaced, I thought it was the right part.
It was on there. Somebody, somewhere, probably thought it'll do, it's the right part. And maybe it could have worked, but it didn't.
Because we need experience. But more than experience, we need wisdom.
I knew there was something wrong, even though it should be the right part. I went to somebody who knew more. He told me it was the wrong part and the experience helped. But wisdom told me there's something else going on here.
And we need wisdom.
2 bits of wisdom. We're not great at passing wisdom down.
I did breastfeeding workshops for years with midwives. I taught mums-to-be who, first time mums-to-be, how to breastfeed and how to express now the midwives did the bulk of the breastfeeding part. I talked about the expressing of the breast milk, and using that, and how that works, and encouraging them, because their mums hadn't passed that information on. That experience wasn't going on. That's unwise!
Another one. Marriage.
So many marriages fail at 12, 18 months. Why? They go to divorce, 'well I don't feel in love anymore'. Because experience tells them, 'well I need to find a new person. I felt happy and now I don't.'
Wisdom tells you that at 12 to 18 months, that's quite normal, to feel like you want to divorce someone. Get divorce off the table, of your vocabulary in your marriage, and you'll stay married. 'Cos you know what, that feeling will fade and it will pass.
But we need wisdom, and we need maturity, and we need Christians.
Experience is great, but as Christians Wisdom trump's experience.
Just a thought.
Written by The BerryBunch