We said goodbye to our interim pastor, Dr. Steve Parr, Sunday morning. Although he is actually a longtime member of Hebron, Dr. Parr was not the original pick for interim because he already holds an important position with the SBC. However, when the unforeseen resignation of the former interim threatened to tear apart the process of finding a permanent leader, Steve immediately stepped up to keep the church intact until God’s man for the job could be found. He’s done an amazing job in that capacity. Thank you, Dr. Parr! We hope to continue to see you as often as your work allows!
Goodbyes are hard. Letting go of the past is even harder. We’re creatures of habit. We don’t like change. We know it’s a necessary part of life, but we fight it tooth and nail. Don’t believe it? If you look in your closet, how many can find an article (or more) of clothing you’ve had for more than twenty years? Probably haven’t worn it in at least that long, but it’s still hanging there! Some of us still have stuffed animals from our teenaged years more than fifty years ago. I’m pointing at myself there, as you can see from the above picture. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. This tiger has seen every one of my children and grandchildren riding on its back.
Remembrances are good. The Bible tells us to remember. That’s why He commanded the Israelites to put Witness stones in the water. It’s why they made a Witness altar. It’s when we go beyond remembering, and begin to focus on the past instead of the present and future that we get ourselves into trouble. Saying, “He doesn’t do things like we used to when ________ was here.” Or “Why can’t we do it like we always did when I was a kid?”
Guess what? Times have changed. If we don’t change with them, the church is going to die. It’s that simple. If you take a good look around your church, it probably doesn’t look like it did when we were kids. And that’s a good thing! People of all colors, economic status, and ages worship together much more than they did when I was a kid. The barriers have been broken down. We must not resurrect them! We have to say goodbye to old methods. The message should never change. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! But our methods of delivery must be one to reach as many as possible with the truth of the gospel, and then disciple them. Think about the radical change Jesus wrought to the Jewish system of His day. As His disciples, should we really expect to do any less? Let’s be willing to let go, and say goodbye, so a new door can open and a new dawn can begin!