Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

Do You Want to Get Better at Change?

We’ve been changing a lot. 

This year Shiloh will start kindergarten, Caleb will be a first grader, and Connor is going into middle school (I don’t even know how that is possible). 

And if that wasn’t enough, we are working hard at leading change in the church. We are shifting around worship formats, we just brought on a dynamic new staff member, and we even took out a couple of pews. 

Change is all around us, and whether you agree with the changes swirling around you or not, one thing we all can agree on- change is hard. 

It’s incredibly difficult to ask people to give up what they know, for what they don’t. Change is asking them to step out of their comfort zone and trust that everything will be okay after the fact. 

Throughout this experience at the church, I’ve had the pleasure of talking to a lot of people about this idea of change. One thing I’ve heard over and over again is, “Old people don’t like change.” 

I would have agreed with this statement until I met one of our oldest members of the church (she is 98 years young).  As I was checking in with her (about the changes) she said something fairly profound. She said, “Tony, change doesn’t bother me. I may not like it, but nothing in my life has ever stayed the same. I’ll be okay.”

Her simple statement sent me into an intellectual tailspin. Is change really harder for older individuals? If I really think about it, I know a ton of younger people who don’t like change either. 

That’s when it hit me; change is hardest when we are out of practice. 

Karen and I are in a season of having to practice change. Our kid’s lives are changing before our eyes. We are watching them grow up in front of us. Eventually, that will stop. Eventually, we won’t have a front row seat to the changes in their life. When that happens I can easily imagine that the changes in our life will be fewer and further apart. 

What if change isn’t something that happens to us, but rather a discipline of life that we are called to practice? 

If we are intentional about practicing change, then when something does change the moment won’t be so breathtaking. 

As we examine this deeper, here is the really cool part: You can change anything! 
To practice change, the only thing you have to do is pick one part of your “normal” routine, and do the exact opposite. If you want to get better at change the only requirement is to look at your life and mix it up. 

This past weekend someone passed on some important information about that 98-year-old church member. She wanted me to know she hasn’t been missing church on purpose, but she just bought a new car and she needs to practice driving it in the neighborhood before she drives it to church. 

Change is hard- practice makes it easier. 

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As of Today, I Am Officially Out of the Army.