Sermon Quotes on adaptation

Ambrose Bierce

HOMILETICS, n. The science of adapting sermons to the spiritual needs, capacities and conditions of the congregation.

William Bridges

It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change.


Benjamin Franklin

Change is the only constant in life. Ones ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life.

Ronald A. Heifetz

The improvisational ability to lead adaptively relies on responding to the present situation rather than importing the past into the present and laying it on the current situation like an imperfect template.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World


There is nothing permanent except change.

Reinhold Niebuhr

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

 George Bernard Shaw

Those who can’t change their minds can’t change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Timothy Keller

To reach people we must appreciate and adapt to their culture, but we must also challenge and confront it. This is based on the biblical teaching that all cultures have God’s grace and natural revelation in them, yet they are also in rebellious idolatry. If we overadapt to a culture, we have accepted the culture’s idols. If, however, we underadapt to a culture, we may have turned our own culture into an idol, an absolute. If we overadapt to a culture, we aren’t able to change people because we are not calling them to change. If we underadapt to a culture, no one will be changed because no one will listen to us; we will be confusing, offensive, or simply unpersuasive. To the degree a ministry is overadapted or underadapted to a culture, it loses life-changing power.

Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City, Zondervan, 2012.

Mark A. Noll

One of [Lamin] Sanneh’s key arguments is that while the spread of Islam has drawn ever-increasing numbers to the globalizing influence of Arabic, the spread of Christianity binds ever-increasing numbers to their own local languages.

Taken from The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith  by Mark A. Noll Copyright (c) 2009 by Mark A. Noll. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

See also quotes on Change, Status Quo

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