Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vision for Transformation

I began reading a book this week entitled “Tranformational Church” by Ed Stezter and Thom Rainer. The basic idea is that as a disciple-making missional community of believers our primary goal in aiming for the glory of Jesus Christ is to see transformation taking place in people’s lives.

They say, “transformation is at the heart of God’s mission to humanity” (p. 3). Certainly, this is taken right out of Romans 8:29, “for whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Through the power of the gospel, God takes a life that is ruined by sin and transforms it into “his workmanship” for His glory.

God’s agent and tool for accomplishing this is through the disciple-making missional community of believers called the church.


“The alternative to this biblically-mandated transformation is to pick a rut and make it deeper. And this is just what many churches have done, preferring, even if not consciously, repetition or even stagnation. As leaders, we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that just managing the status quo is good enough. Some leaders take the merry-go-around approach to church. They think that is they can just keep everyone moving, the flashing lights shining bright, and the music happy, they won’t get any complaints. Some leaders try to take the “don’t rock the boat approach” approach. They think that if we all remain very still in the boat, it won’t turn over. But it also won’t go anywhere.” (p. 3)

“Rather than missionary disciples for Christ going into the world, we have a group of people content to go in circles.” (p. 3)

All of this had gotten me thinking about us as a church. Have we caught this kind of vision for our church—to be a disciple-making missional community of believers who desire & seek to cultivate transformation by the power of the gospel & the Holy Spirit in the lives of our members and our community?

“I can only imagine…” what the Lord wants to do through us for the sake of His kingdom. Let’s dream together for the future that God has for us…catch the vision…transformational church!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fellowship of the Unshamed

I used this in the sermon yesterday. May it motivate all followers of Jesus to give him our all:

We are part of the fellowship of the unashamed. We have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. We have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. We are disciples of His. We won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

Our past is redeemed, our present makes sense, our future is secure. We’re finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

We no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. We don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. We now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

Our faces are set, our gait is fast, our goal is heaven, our road is narrow, our way rough, our companions few, our Guide reliable, our mission clear. We cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed.

We will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

We won’t give up, shut up, let up, until we have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up, for the cause of Jesus. We are disciples of Jesus. We must go till He comes, give till we drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops us. And when He comes for His own. He will have no problems recognizing us – our banner will be clear.