Dr. Doug Small challenged the church to honor its history while understanding that change is needed moving forward.
Luke 5:37-39, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.”
Using Luke’s record as a foundation, Dr. Small portrayed the need to balance the ‘old’ with the ‘new’. To accomplish this, we must be willing to let go of control and let the Holy Spirit lead the church. “We can’t reject the old for the new. We can’t afford that type of separation. We must celebrate our heritage while looking forward,” Dr. Small declared.
He also artfully included another analogy. In 1998, the strength of Hurricane Mitch moved the Choluteca River in Honduras, leaving a bridge to nowhere. The bridge, like the church, has lost its purpose, believers must be willing to move where they can do the most good.
“We love our church, but it no longer connects with the river. Everything we think we can do to move the river back will not happen,” Dr. Small shared.
His urgent message continued: “Current society presents mountains we could never have anticipated. Because of this, it is important to separate the method and the mission. Growing God’s kingdom should not be limited to Sundays, praise music, or preaching. We are intimidated by society’s hostility, but we must remember who we serve. The people of the IPHC need a new boldness tethered with gentleness and humility.”
Be encouraged to boldly go forth and reach people where there are.
We are praying with and for you.