In our continuing conversation about the opportunity for church transformation, it is appropriate to examine the issue on a more personal level. What about me and you? How will we experience individual spiritual transformation. Paul described the transformed church as consisting of maturing believer who become more and more like Jesus (Ephesians 4:15).
How does that happen? In an article in Leadership Journal (Summer 2012), Gordon MacDonald identified the signs of transformation. He wrote that a transformed Christian …
- Has an undiluted devotion to Christ – a deliberate, determined commitment to Jesus, His way and His life
- Pursues a biblically informed world view – a growing awareness and understanding of Scriptural literacy and application
- Is intentional and disciplined in seeking God’s direction in life – a spiritual aggressiveness in adopting practices of doing and being as a Christ-follower
- Worships and has a spirit of continuous repentance – a deepening gratitude for grace, a proper attitude of contrition and confession, a constant refreshment of reverential praise
- Builds healthy, reciprocal human relationships – a determination to share life as a steward of the relationships entrusted to a Christian
- Knows how to engage the larger world where faith is not necessarily understood – an appreciation for the challenges of a post-Christian world, a response and dialogue laced with respect and consideration, a love for whom God loves
- Is aware of personal ‘call’ and unique competencies – a believer truly comfortable in his/her skin, a confidence in and an employment of spiritual giftedness, a holy purpose
- Is merciful and generous – a desire to leverage time, talent, and treasure to bless others, to multiply one’s life through the gift of self
- Appreciates that suffering is part of faithfulness – an acceptance of the inevitability of suffering and the desire to never waste a pain or hurt
- Is eager and ready to express the content of his faith – an openness to seize the day, to speak the truth in love, to continuously pray for opportunities
- Overflows with thankfulness – an awareness and appreciation of the Source of every good and perfect gift, an expression of gratitude that shapes behavior
- Has a passion for reconciliation – a determination to tear down walls and build bridges with contrite hearts and willing spirits
If these twelve represent a road map to spiritual transformation, I can tell I have work to do in my life. How about you? Where do you soar? Where do you stumble? Why does it matter? Let’s see how Paul finished his thought in Ephesians 4: “Christ makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Sounds like a plan!