When we hear the word position, we think of something fixed. But our culture is turning position into transition. From the definition of male and female to the meaning of marriage or the philosophy of the church, pastors are taking “the transition position.”

Here are a few thoughts I recently taught our students at West Coast Baptist College about biblical ministry positions:

1. The predominant theme of biblical ministry exhortation is not centered on transition; it is centered on remaining.

Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

2. Methods are many, principles are few; methods may change, principles never do. Not everything new is sinful, and some functional transitions are needful. Much of the transition of philosophy in church life today is not helpful.

For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. (Proverbs 4:2)

3. Men given to transition seldom transition in only one area. Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition which often proliferates.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8)

4. There are many published books and articles on how to transition to a seeker philosophy. A Savior-sensitive church will focus on the immutable attributes of God.

For I am the LORD, I change not…. (Malachi 3:6)

5. The transitions you make in moderation will be made in excess by the next generation. I wonder what some churches and families will look like should the Lord tarry. Strong leaders tend to remain with proven truth and methods for the sake of the next generation.

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. (Joshua 4:6–7)

6. Transition is often employed in the process of syncretism. The “perilous times” of 2 Timothy 3 are times of unraveling from the top down. Spiritual leaders must provide consistent, eternal-minded direction.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1–2)

7. In the Bible, the men and women who changed the world were the men and women the world could not change.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7–8)

8. If a transitioning leader is offended or argumentative on his journey, it is often revealing that his seeking a differential from previous mentors is more based in pride than in necessity.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

9. While we should be careful not to elevate preferences to the height of Scripture, we must not transition from convictions based in Scripture.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16–17)

Is transition your position?


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