Pastor Dave  

Students of change


George Barna, a leading researcher, author and sociologist, said in his book Futurecast, “There are three kinds of people when it comes to the future: those who watch what happens, those who will make it happen, and those who wondered what happened.” I think that we all fit into each category at different times in our lives. I am attempting to live most of my life in the second category.

An ancient Proverb tells us that “change is the only constant” (ThinkExist.com). I find the fact that the ancients were dealing with the same challenge of change comforting. Anthony J D’Angelo, writing in The College Blue Book, provides a post-modern twist to the Proverb: he said, “Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.”

That statement sums up the tension most of us live with every day. I struggle with change as much as the next guy. In a world where information is doubling every two years, grasping the nuances and shifts occurring all around has become a massive psychological and emotional undertaking. I can understand why the retro movement – going back to nature, simplifying life, and downsizing – is gaining traction in our society.

My personality, according to the insights of the DISC profile, describes me as one who welcomes change but in small increments. My political inclination is “big C” conservative. My religious upbringing taught me to be cautious of change. Change is going to happen, but we all know that not all change is positive. It must be discerned and weighed because even changes for the better are accompanied with drawbacks and discomforts.

Winston Churchill stated, “There is nothing wrong with change, if is in the right direction.” Therein lays the snag. Who determines whether or not a change is “in the right direction?” Politicians? Supreme Court Justices? Educators? Entertainers? Ministers? Sub-culture organizations?

If the grid for determining changes and whether they are beneficial to society or not is based upon opinion, we are in trouble. Everyone – especially in this generation – has an opinion, and some groups have been very effective in amassing influence and dominating the majority with a minority opinion.

We are all handicapped by inexperience when it comes to evaluating the impact of change. None of us have the luxury to know whether or not change adopted today will be ultimately beneficial five years from now based upon opinion. We have to be able to look inside ourselves as well as back to the lessons of history to be able to look forward. We need context. We need more than polls. We need a moral grid to be able to assess impact.

I know that if we do not define and determine change, change will define and create us. Whether we like it or not, change welcomed by a group of people builds a critical mass of influence on the rest of us – what some call peer pressure – and “the many” become controlled by the changes that “the few” adopt.

One Proverb states: “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Change needs to be challenged before it is chosen. If we are not careful and circumspect about the changes being proposed for the culture we live in, we will soon join the ranks of the irrelevant and walk with those who wonder what happened rather than those who make things happen.

Maria Robinson said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” We cannot change the past, but we can keep our heads up about the now, and start today on creating a new ending.

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About the Author

Dr. David Kalamen is founder and lead pastor of Kelowna Christian Center (KCC). Married to Carleen for 35 years, they and their family, all living and working in Kelowna, have together been ministering to the people of this region for over 25 years. David cares deeply about the citizens of Kelowna and the state of the city, causing him to develop the Houses of Mercy program to help build compassionate community.

His column "Oh! Canada!" reflects his love for the Canadian people and this nation, and brings a refreshing perspective to local and national issues of common concern.

David has spoken at national and international conferences that have dealt with a wide range of leadership issues touching Christianity, politics, social justice, mercy missions and business. That call has taken him to over 20 nations. He has served on the General Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and is presently a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute. David has authored a book, Life Purpose that has sold broadly throughout Canada.

If you want to contact Pastor Kalamen about this week's column please e-mail [email protected], call (250) 762-9559, or write to KCC at 905 Badke Road, Kelowna, V1X 5Z5.

Useful websites are:
Kelowna Christian Center: www.kcc.net
Heritage Christian School: www.heritagechristian.ca
Heritage Christian Online: www.onlineschool.ca
Global Ministry Training Center: www.gmtc.ca

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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