“No one puts new wine into old wineskins.” – Luke 5:33-39
I was meditating on these verses this morning, thinking about how this might apply to my own life and to life in ministry. I often think that as God works something new out in my life, I have to pull away from the structures and environments that reinforced the old character in me. I’m a new person and to live that out I sometimes have to be in a new place or around new people.
As it relates to ministry, I think about how God is doing something new in Destino. His Spirit is obviously at work breathing life into these movements around the country, particularly on our own campus. He is stirring the hearts of our student leaders to really seek Him whole-heartedlly. He is calling them to fight for the voice of the marginalized and oppressed on campus. It is a beautiful thing to watch.
My question for us on our team is, “Are we willing to become ‘new wineskin’ for this ‘new wine’?” There is a newness to what God is doing in the Latino community. If we just try to pour that newness into the same old structures and methodologies that we’ve always known in ministry, I’m afraid we might burst and spill the new wine. Are we willing to let God re-shape us to fit with how He is moving among Latinos in our midst? Are we willing to put aside what we have always known to work, in order to see what new thing God wants to do in this new demographic that we historically haven’t reached?
The last verses in this section say, “No one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘the old is good enough’”. That is a sobering thought for me. Can we who have tasted the old wine really be made into something new? I don’t know. But I know we have to try. If not, I believe we will miss out on what God is wanting to do through us.
I think He wants to use us to reach and mobilize Latinos to be a part of His Kingdom work in greater numbers than ever before. But we have to be made new. We have to let Him change us in ways that may even be painful. The consequences of not changing are too costly. By giving Him free reign to break us out of our old ways of thinking, we allow Him to save us from becoming stagnate.
In what ways is God moving in our ministries that may not fit with our “old wineskins”?
How can we change to fit with His movement among Latinos?
Is it even possible for us who have “tasted the old wine” to want anything new?