This is Part-Two of a series on Challenging Yourself as a Leader,
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.” Luke 5:37-39 ESV
These verses seem to be a contradiction, Jesus is telling us to change and not to put new wine in old wineskins but then he ends with “The old is good”. Yes, old wine is better than new wine, and the temptation is there that might make you want to just stay the same but there is a couple of problems with this.
First its selfish, if we don’t grow in our faith and stick to our old methods, we’re being selfish. We need new ways of reaching out to students. Imagine when texting was first getting popular with teens as a way of communicating and we as student ministry leaders decided, “No I don’t want to spend the extra $10 a month to add that to my cell phone plan, I can just call them on the phone or see them in person.” Wow, today I can’t even imagine that. I’ve had so many great ministry moments happen in text message conversations!
Second, its shortsighted , you stop growing when you stop looking for the new things Jesus wants to do in your life. Your small group will stop growing when you stop finding ways to challenge them to stretch their faith or make them take a step out in faith and for some of the students in your group it might stop them from accepting Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior. All because we don’t want to step out of our comfort zone. Wow, I don’t want to have to answer for that one day! Don’t fall into the trap that the old way, the comfortable way is better and I don’t want to try anything new. God wants to reach into your life and into your heart and do new and better things with you and with your group. But if you don’t challenge yourself, no growth will happen.
Ask yourself, are you willing to challenge yourself to grow, to try new things in your group, in your high school or junior high ministry? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone? Are you willing to think outside the box, (but still inside the scriptures) and bring more students to Jesus?
For the High School and Junior High Pastors that read this, are you challenging your staff and your volunteers? Are you willing to empower them to try new things? Are you open to having a conversation with them about this or are you weary about thinking outside the box? Are you available to them to help them and support them?
I have some ideas for change in my high school small group and over the new few weeks I’ll be writing about them. Stay tuned, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride but one that is going to be well worth the journey. It’s going to grow the students in my group as well as me and my co-leader.