February 11, 2021
Remaining Relevant

Dr. Oliver Wagner
“I am about to do a new thing,” says the Lord,
“Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
Isaiah 43:19
I serve on the Advisory Board for the Alpharetta YMCA along with several APC members and civic leaders. At our meeting last week we were privileged to have on our board meeting Zoom call the new CEO and President of the Metro Atlanta YMCA, Lauren Koontz. Through the years, Lauren has worked at the Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School, Emory’s School of Medicine, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Association, along with her years at the Y in development.

As she talked about leading this non-profit organization through the challenges and closures of 2020 and into 2021, she had some great insights and valuable experiences I thought worth sharing with you by way of this devotion. I took notes. She said, “If you don’t adapt and evolve with the changes in the culture and world, you will not be a relevant organization. The YMCA has had to pivot, reset and adapt….”

I immediately thought about church life and work as the pandemic has made us do the same. The changes in the culture and world of late have required us to think and do in new ways. When we first got into this pandemic a lot of folks were saying “I can’t wait to get back to where we were.” I’m not hearing that or thinking that as much now. Instead, I believe we need to continue to move forward by adapting and evolving to the needs and situations of today and tomorrow. Following the lead of the Spirit, we will create, imagine, risk and change so that our mission can grow in impact and the church can remain essential. We never want the church to become “stuck in time” as a monument to history or a museum of the past.

Fortunately, God is with us and before us. We step forward with excitement, anticipation, and hope. Following Jesus moves us forward. It is not an exercise in remaining as we now are. And we do so with other talented, committed followers of Christ who are looking around and ahead asking, “What now?” and “How best to accomplish that calling?”
God of all ages, show us how to be faithful and strengthen us to further Christ’s saving work in an ever-changing world in need of your Good News. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com