In my blog of October 13 of last year I told something about an educational program that we started in the Stadskerk de Wijngaard in Leeuwarden. This was a new adventure for both the municipality and us. Last month we completed this educational process and I must say that I am impressed with what it has done for the participants, for the leaders of the church and what it has brought to this church as a whole. During the final evening, everyone listed what he or she had learned through the educational evenings. Very special and moving to hear in the testimonies that many people have grown closer to Jesus, have learned to build a more intimate relationship with Him and have become familiar with the principles of the Kingdom. The leaders of the church also had a special experience. For example, during one of the educational evenings there was a prophetic word for the pastor and about the direction of the church. This was spoken by one of the teachers who did not know either the congregation or the pastor. This word was so striking and affirming that it caused even more openness to the new course that the Lord Jesus has in mind for the church. This openness has led to the fact that for the first time in the history of this congregation and even in the history of Royal Mission, there was a healing service in a morning service. The congregation and guests who attended got a taste of the power of God and a demonstration of what the Kingdom of God also is. There is a beautiful text in Isaiah 43:19; Behold, I am going to do something new, now it is sprouting – haven’t you noticed yet? I make a way through the desert, make rivers in the wilderness. If I read the Bible carefully, I cannot escape the impression that God loves to innovate. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, God wants to renew our lives, there is a new covenant and this text also talks about something new. The new thing in this verse is even humanly impossible… Roads and rivers in wildernesses and deserts. Nothing is impossible for God when He wants to do something new. We humans have a little more difficulty with innovation. I have guided a number of municipalities in change processes. In all cases, the people in such a municipality are very enthusiastic about the announcement of renewal, until innovation actually takes place… People are almost naturally inclined to hold on to the old familiar. The old familiar is easy to trust. It has proven to be reliable, but the disadvantage is that you stay in the same place. What is striking about what has been renewed in the church in Leeuwarden is that these are processes initiated by Jesus himself. Encounters with Him opened hearts, Jesus spoke to the leaders and Jesus through His Spirit brought a new desire for more of Him. When it comes to renewal processes in churches, we are completely dependent on Him, because Jesus himself said: “I will build my church”. The power of an educational process, which can lead to a church being renewed, is that a church learns to trust Jesus more than the old familiar. That is more difficult than it seems, but it is necessary. As you get to know Jesus better, you will notice that He can really be trusted, even when new things happen. There are a number of churches that would like the same educational process in their congregation, including a number of reformed churches. Old and familiar… I’m curious!