"Adaptive Change" sermon based on 1 Kings: 2
Adaptive Change: sermon for Proper 15 by the Rev. Rick Kautz
The Lord came to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what I should give you?” Basically, God told Solomon to make a wish. Although it’s only one wish and not three, I think its better than the genie in the bottle, because, you know, it’s GOD!
So, right now I would like everyone to take a moment and think about what it is they would wish for. Health? And end to Covid? World peace? All great options.
The Church is stuck, and we don’t know what to do. How many clergy conferences have your rectors attended, or vestry retreats you have attended, where you were given the latest “fix” for the church, only to discover when you got back home, nothing changed? This is because you were given tools to help fix a technical problem, such as how to start a seeker’s service, how to make your bulletin more user friendly, how to build an inviting website, or how to increase community outreach. Now all these tools are good things and can be helpful when dealing with technical problems, but what is needed for us to survive is adaptive change. If your plan is to just “work harder” or to return to the “good ol’ days” or try some new church growth product off the shelf, then the solution is a technical one and not adaptive.
In this time of change, turmoil, and anxiety we all must pray for the wisdom to adapt and take on the mind of Christ. As Tod Bolinger also wrote, “The world in front of you is nothing like the world behind you.” The church can fade away until the last light goes out in 2050, or we can let go of the past, learn to adapt, and on move on together in love.