It takes a wise leader to know when to change something. It takes insight to recognise when it’s time for innovation. Jesus certainly understood the role of change and rebuked those who stood in the way of innovation.

Some religious leaders chided Jesus because he did not force his disciples to fast (Mark 2:11). Jesus informed them that he had not come to add a few new rules and regulations to religious instructions; he had something entirely new to impart. The Lord made it clear to the religious leaders that he was not there to patch an old system (vv.21-22). Such an effort would be as foolish as putting a patch of un-shrunk cloth on an old garment or putting new wine in an old wineskin. When the patch shrunk, the garment would tear; when the wine fermented, the wineskin would burst. The old form of religious traditions could never contain the spirit of Jesus’ message. Following Jesus meant disciples leaving behind their old way of life and former ties. It involved joining themselves to Jesus, accompanying him and participating in the abundant life he offers.

In one way or another, all of us have an aversion to change, especially when things appear to be going reasonably well. But we serve a God who says, “I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5). God is not interested in preserving the status quo: he is committed to nothing less than an entirely new order of creation.

Change and innovation are integral components of both biological and spiritual growth. The Bible focuses more on process than on product, because all believers are in the process of becoming the people God meant us to be. Without change, growth is impossible.

Jesus was an innovator, a change maker, and so is every effective leader

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