Thursday, January 10, 2008


This political season (as every other) has brought the idea of "change" to the forefront. Barack Obama mentioned it no less than 12 times in a statment that lasted approximately one minute. Mike Huckabee had a similar count in one of his statements. "Change. Change. Change. Change." That seemed to be the theme.

But here's where my teacher instinct kicks in: Define change. Give three examples.

What do we mean by change? What does it look like? From what are we changing? To what are we changing? Is all change good? Change is an easy word to use, but hard to define and describe - that's the problem. We have an emotional and visceral response to it (usually positive), while remaining seriously short on details and specifics.

"Change" isn't confined to politics, however, it's also found in the church (or, better said, in the thinking of some in the church).

"We need change!" We've all heard that before. But using the same logic, please define change and give three examples. What do we mean by change? Removing all of the pews would certainly be a change, but would it be a good one? Maybe. It would depend upon why and how it was done. Removing a pastor is a change, but may or may not be a good one. The list goes on and on.

Change can be a cliche, whether it's used by a politician or someone in a church. It can become an empty slogan if we're not careful. When we talk about change, we need to be careful to define and describe it. But, thinking about it, that would mean change, wouldn't it?


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