ultimate goal of Christianity is transformation…from
unrighteous to righteous…from takers to givers…from hearers to doers…from
people of the world to people of God…from self-centered to Christ-centered…from
lovers of the flesh to lovers of the Spirit…from independent to interdependent…from
inevitable death to everlasting life. Transformation is an ever changing
process that shapes the life of a Christian, a congregation, and a city.
word "transformed"comes from the Greek word metamorphoo (met-am-or-fo'-o),
which means "to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure."
The word "metamorphosis" is derived from this word, which we use
to describe the process of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.
As Christians, we must be willing to allow transformation to happen. If we resist, the default circumstances are complacency, spiritual lethargy, and apathy. We (as a Christian, a community, or a city) decide what posture we take in embracing transformation. Among the three types of people in the world today, we decide to be among,
is also a process that involves a "paradigm
changes in the way we think and act. Sometimes this "shift"
is known as "seasons" in our life when changes occur in our
motivation, interests, and activities.
We can help empower transformation in the life of a Christian.
The transformational tools we use include:
In his classic work entitled Disciples Are Made Not Born, Walter Hendrichsen writes, "Make disciples" is the mandate of the Master (Matt. 28:19-20). We may ignore it, but we cannot evade it. Our risen Christ left this legacy - the magna charta of the church. He provided both the model and the method. His life - and death - recast the lives of men. He demonstrated that you have not done anything until you have changed the lives of men. Much of the feverish and frustrating activity of the contemporary church is devoid of relevance and fulfillment. Entertainment, not education, is our program. Laymen are disenchanted. They are looking for an involvement with eternal bite. C. S. Lewis said it; 'All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.'"
Making disciples and disciplers is the process that makes transformation happen.
There are no short-cuts to making disciples. Unfortunately, many churches (for whatever reasons) have fallen short in their efforts to transform the lives of Christian into fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. Transformation is an "intentional process" that requires much investment in the building of solid relationships.
Consider the following illustration. The vertical dimension of the cross represents our relationship with God; the horizontal dimension represents our relationship with people. Where these two intersect is the "heart" of the gospel. Both are just as important as the other.
Christianity is all about right relationships, both with God
and with people.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39. NIV).
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35, NIV).
John the Apostle said:
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us - perfect love (1 John 4:11-12, The Message)!