“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” – Luke 5: 37-38
As a church, one of our core values is to be open to change. That can sound a bit like a contradiction. What do I mean? It means that we are sure of the trustworthiness of the Bible. We are absolutely confident the message of the Bible is perfect truth; we will not compromise that. However, we are constantly adapting new ways of doing ministry to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Today, many churches are multi-generational, some consisting of up to five generations. This diversity can be incredibly rich, but also challenging if a church is unwilling to change and adapt. Maybe the older generation feels that if they grew in their faith through certain ministries then those same ministries should be good enough for the next generation. The danger with this mentality is when an unwillingness to change leads to next generation casualties – young people turning away from the church and never hearing the good news of Christ.
The Bible talks about this concept in terms of wineskins. In ancient times, wineskins stored – you guessed it – wine. But everyone knew that you don’t add new wine to old wineskins. Why? Because over time the wineskins became brittle and rigid. When new wine is added to an old wineskin, that wine will ferment and expand, and the wineskin will burst. Everything will be lost.
Don’t miss this – the truth of the Gospel and the Bible never changes. The Bible is our authority and the perfectly true written Word of God to disciple followers of Jesus. So, we preach it and teach it – never compromising it. However, by permitting our ministries to adapt and to change we continue to thrive by allowing old wine in old wineskins and new wine in new wineskins. They both coexist – each connecting with the Gospel and Jesus Christ thru enriching and ever changing methodologies.