Statistics reveal that the typical mid-level college graduate from today can expect to change employers 12 times over the course of their lifetime and change skill sets at least 3 times. By the time today’s graduates reach 40 they will not be able to rely on the skills they learned in school. With so much fluidity in employment, loyalty between worker and employer will be even less than it is today. I know you are thinking is that possible. I assure you it is.
“Modern capitalism is turning everyone into a work migrant, and many into work exiles”, says sociologist Richard Sennett. Amid so much change, it will be difficult for many people to have a secure and coherent life. (Hedgehog Review, summer).
Contrast all of this with what was typical when many of us graduated from college in the 1960’s and early 70’s. I had many friends that said they planned to go work for “Ma Bell” and be there a whole lifetime. I had friends that worked for Washington Gas Company a whole lifetime. Things seemed more stable just a few years ago. I’ve served as your pastor for the last 39 years. I’ve only served 3 churches over my whole ministry.
Does any of this emerging picture of fluidity and change say anything to us in the church about the kind of ministry we need to be offering? Does any of this have anything to do with the importance of stable and solid forces in our society such as the church? Yes, we should be open to and embrace change in every aspect of our life and ministry but we can also offer something deep and lasting, something stable, something, people can depend on and count on throughout their lives.
God is everlasting. God is permanent. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We can depend on that. We can count on God. The knowledge of an unchanging, eternal, dependable God brings us comfort and stability in a world of constant change. Jobs, careers, all of life will come and go but God will be forever.