Have you used one of those new drink machines in restaurants? They have a cool touch screen. You can choose from dozens of drink types and flavors. The machines are sleek, high-tech, and fitting for a generation that expects everything.
There’s just one problem: these new drink dispensers are incredibly slow and cause confusion for every generation. I’ve seen kids, twenty-somethings and grandparents stumped as they try to navigate the screen, figure out how to get ice and attempt to fill their cups. These machines create a bottleneck of customers instead of a free and efficient flow of tasty beverages. As I stood five-back in line at one of these machines, I realized that just because we love an idea, it’s not always the best path to follow.
We have lots of ideas. The Apostle Peter’s idea of the Messiah was that He should never suffer, die and rise again. Jesus responded to that notion by saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23
Peter loved his idea, but it wasn’t a good one.
How many ideas do we love as a church, but aren’t very helpful for God’s mission today? What ideas of ours hamper the multiplication of God’s Kingdom? What ideas—not Scriptural ideas, mind you, but our own preferences and desires—create confusion and keep people away from Jesus Christ, the Living Water?
Restaurants may not switch out their drink machines any time soon, but do we have the courage to make changes that allow all people to access God’s gifts and grace?
By Rev. Michael W. Newman
Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Area C