SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-08-01: "Transitions And Change"

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Transitions and Change



          We have entered into a season in the (Body of Christ) WORLD when we are going through some monumental changes in our ministries and private lives. Everywhere you look people are going through transitions. Even the direction of many ministries are changing, not for the sake of just doing something different; but it's something the Lord Himself is orchestrating.

          Christian life involves a series of crossroads that demand a “no-turning-back” response. Decisions are being made that are irrevocable and create more new and different options. Not all transitions are bad, some are for the good. Can you imagine life without cell phones? Yet, before 1994 they were a pipe dream in science magazines.

          CHANGE is in the air: the new is replacing the old, paradigms are shifting, life and growth demand it. We cannot ignore the necessity of change. One man said recently,

“My luck is changing, It’s getting WORSE!”

The average “pew warmer” hates change and desires deadly monotony and predictability. The challenge for we who serve in pastoral care is to comfort the uncomfortable majority as we transition into our collective future.

God’s retirement plan is “Out-of-this-world!”


Pastor Phil  <><<














Sheepfold Ministries – Pastor Phil Roland

August 1, 2010

Transitions and Change

John 3:23-36

"He must increase, but I must decrease.”


TRANSITION - “The act of passing from one state or place to the next”



            A. Change means a transition from one season to another

                        1. Summer transitions to Fall

                        2. Fall transitions to Winter

                        3. Winter transitions to Spring

                        4. Spring transitions to Summer

            B. Change is an undeniable part of our humanity

                        1. We hate change, but cannot avoid it

                        2. Seasons in our lives come and go

            C. Statistically, 67% of the population hate and resist change

                        1. Change is seen as a threat

                        2. They are rigid and hard to move

                        3. They are fearful worriers

                        4. Need verbal reassurance before committing to change

            D. Transitions in National and World Culture

                        1. Economics are Changing

                        2. Politics are in flux

                        3. A past decade of Natural and Man-made Disasters

            E. Transitions in Aging of Physical Life

                        1. Have to meet and overcome each challenge

                        2. Knock on all the doors of healing

                        3. Must take responsibility for self

                        4. Transitions in all areas of physical life

                                    a. Sleeping: We cannot remain in sleep deprivation

                                    b. Nutrition: What we eat must change

                                    c. Exercise: “Use it or lose it”

                                    d. Pain: Must learn to manage pain / Do what is required

                                    e. Alcohol and Pills NOT the answer to pain



    "He must increase, but I must decrease.”

          A. He has been the flaming voice crying in the wilderness

                        1. Fearless evangelist baptizing in the Jordan

                        2. John calls sin: SIN!

                        3. Forerunner of Jesus, his cousin

                        4. His ministry was over because his Messiah had come

            B. Controversy: His was being compared to Jesus

                        1. His disciples were tempting him to compete w/Jesus

                        2. He didn’t succumb to pressure from his proponents

Transitions and Change, cont.,p.2


3. John had the humility to accept and embrace change

                                    a. He had to die to his previous ministry

                                    b. He had to give up his disciples to Jesus

                                    c. Eventually he had to give up his physical life

                        4. Transition meant the end of John’s Evangelistic Ministry

                        5. Transition meant the start of Jesus’ Redemptive Ministry

            C. Life and Death are often Back-to-Back – Eccles. 3:1,2

               “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

                 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck

                 what is planted;”

                        1. Human births and deaths are often linked

                        2. We hate final “Goodbyes” in ministry and in life

            D. Thank God for John’s surrender of his ministry to Jesus



          A. Despair and Hopelessness can take away our lives

                        1. Become too miserable to stay where we are

                        2. Too afraid to go into the future

            B. Caught between a Rock and a Hard Place – Numbers 14:1-3

               “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people

      wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses

      and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had

      died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!

      "Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our

       wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for

       us to return to Egypt?"

            1. They spent 70 years and were buried in the desert sands

            2. The wouldn’t take God’s provision for them

            3. They died in their misery

C. Transitions are not for the faint of heart



     "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven."

            A. Every material thing is going to be shaken by the Lord

                        1. We cannot trust the arm of flesh/man

                        2. Our foundations are going to be shaken to the core

            B. God specializes in creative change that leads to growth

                        1. Maturity results from right responses to transition

                                    a. Change and adversity are challenges to growth

                                    b. Better or Bitter: the choice is yours

                        2. Wisdom results from right responses to transition

                                    a. Wisdom is the fruit of healthy change

                                    b. Wisdom is the natural fruit of maturity

                        3. Lack Wisdom? Ask God! -  James 1:5

                          “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all

                            liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”


Transitions and Change, cont.,p.3




1. Be “in touch” with God’s Voice within you. – John 10:27

    “"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”


2. Ask God to give you a heightened level of discernment. – 1 Cor. 12:10b

     “to another (is given by God) discerning of spirits,”


3. Pray for wisdom and pray some more. (Remember James 1:5?)


4. Seek the wisdom of your pastors, elders and those who have spiritual

            oversight over you.


5. Be aware when God closes the door where you are. It will be Him if He

            opens a door of opportunity at the same time. – Rev. 3:7,8

            “'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of

             David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":

             "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one

              can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not

              denied My name.”


6. Be sensitive to prophetic voices around you. You may be surprised who   you hear prophetic voices coming from.