Saturday, May 26, 2007

Missional Transformation

Georges Boujakly at Missional Church Network lists these principles of Missional Transformation. (I've reworded them slightly.)

  1. Spiritual transformation takes place on the inside.
  2. Spiritual transformation requires deliberate effort.
  3. Spiritual transformation has a specific goal.
  4. The goal of spiritual transformation is conformity to Jesus Christ.
  5. The progress of spiritual transformation is always slow.
  6. Spiritual transformation is the "business" of the church.

Spiritual transformation (discipleship) is not a luxury for the spiritually elite. It is at the heart of the mission of the body of Christ.

It is so easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects—education, building, missions, holding services…. The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 169–170

Some people try to reduce this mission to

  • Getting people signed up for heaven
  • Making the world a better place
  • Attracting people to a weekly meeting

But when we focus on spiritual transformation, all the other things fall into their proper place.

When we try to do one of these other things in isolation (such as getting people signed up for heaven) we distort the gospel and the impact of the Church on society.

For example, what would happen in your community if 15 people "made a decision" to accept Christ?

Maybe nothing.

But what would happen if 5 people who were living "without God and without hope" submitted to the Good News and lived as serious disciples of Jesus Christ becoming transformed into his likeness?

Eventually the whole community would be transformed, or so I suspect.

What do you think? Can you identify any other substitutes for the Gospel beside the three I mentioned? Why do you think that the Church has lost its focus on spiritual transformation? How do we change that?

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"


Georges Boujakly said...

Thanks for linking to missional church network, pastor Rod.

I also like your rewording. It is simpler than mine. Simpler is good.

I also wanted to add that spiritual transformation is plural, in that it is done in community.
Thanks for linking.

jeff franczak said...

I read an article today on a completely different topic, but I think there is a thread that connects it to this discussion—Christian unity. As our spiritual transformation deepens, our unity with other believers should also be increasing, and not just in our local fellowship but with all true believers in Jesus Christ.

Here are a couple of excerpts from "Yours, Mine and Ours", an article by David Brickner in the June 2007 “Jews For Jesus” newsletter.

“Because of Jesus, believers are powerfully united. Our unity is not just theological talk. It is a spiritual, emotional and social reality with far-reaching consequences. God has made us “one new man” in the Messiah. Our peace and unity in Messiah must not merely be believed; it must be seen, appreciated and demonstrated practically.”

“Our goal is unity in the midst of diversity—unity in the Messiah Jesus. That is what the family of God is all about. People today long to connect, to find their place, to fit in. That longing is only truly fulfilled through this great peace established in the person of Jesus. The profound, supernatural unity we are called to in the body of Messiah should serve as a tremendous attraction to those seeking meaningful and satisfying connections.”

Tony Myles said...

Great stuff here... I'm loving the book the Jesus Creed right now that speaks to this.