New wine must be put into fresh wineskins. – Luke 5:38
Jesus taught that the forms of our Christian practice must change. In His parable of the garment and the wineskin in Luke 5:36-39, the garment and the wineskin are the outside, the container, NOT the substance of our faith. They represent the religious customs, practices, ways we do things, and traditions in which the substance of our faith is packaged. Jesus is stating a fact–the garment needs mending and the old wineskin is old! What worked before isn’t working anymore. Times change, cultures change, and what worked 20 years ago may not work today. But what doesn’t change is the object of our faith.
“Time-honored faith” and “long-established practice” blend together and can become indistinguishable to the status quo. When someone advocates another form of practice or ways to do things, it becomes apparent that the security of the old wineskins rests in the long-established practice, the ways we’ve always done it, INSTEAD OF the time-honored faith.
The reasoning behind the resistance is logical: “I came to Christ singing that song,” or “It worked for me. I don’t see why it won’t work for my children.” We have to ask, “Is it relevant? Does it relate? Will this work today to reach our next generation? If we don’t reach them, who will?”
The older generation is the stable force in our churches. They are faithful and mature, and they represent the stability that every church needs. They also make up the boards and committees that determine the style of ministry, but they have a tendency to perpetuate long-established practices that are meaningful to them.
This problem is more sociological than spiritual. Why is it that a good, Bible-believing church which faithfully carries out its ministry struggles to hold onto its young people, when down the street a contemporary ministry rents a store building and has four times more young people in a matter of months? Because the contemporary ministry relates to the young and their style of music. It caters to their desire for expression and participation.
If we fail to provide new wineskins, we will be ill-equipped to serve the “new wine”-to the next generation of believers. Paul said is this way – “I have become all things to all people so that SOME may BELIEVE”.
Prayer: Lord, help us never to cling to the old ways just because they make us feel comfortable. Make us uncomfortable, Lord, and may we only cling to you and your ways so that some may see through us the beauty of Jesus.
May we become the church that is UNSTOPPABLE because of how we allow JESUS to use us, with His UNSTOPPABLE FORCE of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing us, to reach all people in all places at all times for YOU!
Becoming UNSTOPPABLE with you,
Pastor Mark Steven
THIS MONTH AT WILSHIRE:
Corporate Prayer Nights
Tuesdays @ 6:30pm
Join us each Tuesday night in the Worship Center as we come together in prayer for our church, our next lead pastor and the process of our search team, our ministry board and our staff.
Guest Services Team
Our team is in great need of volunteers. Needs include: Greeters in the 10:30am service, Help at the Welcome Center, Greeters, Communion set-up once a month, and help with our Sunday refreshments. If you are willing to serve in any of the above areas please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have a training day on March 6 immediately following our 10:30am service in the Worship Center.
If you are not in a Life Group and looking to join one, we have a few groups that are open and available including a brand new group that will be meeting on Thursdays at 6:30 pm. If you would like more information please contact Bryan.
Women’s Spa Night
Friday, March 11, 6-9pm
Ladies come and enjoy a night of relaxation! Massages, Eye Brow Threading, Hand treatments, Raffle Prizes and much more. Light refreshments will be served. Drop in anytime between 6-9pm in the Underground Lounge. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Women’s Booth. Childcare included.
Kidzplay Soccer Registration
Registration is now open for our 2016 season of indoor soccer. This league is for 3 -8 year olds. Registration is online only at www.wilshireave.com or for more information stop by the Sports Booth or email email@example.com.
BLACKWOOD BROTHERS, Southern Gospel Quartet, will be in concert at Wilshire, Friday, March 4, 7:00 p.m.
Celebration Singers Easter Musical, Saturday, March 19, 3:00 p.m.