At Trinity Church, we’ve been going through a series called “Moving Forward”, looking at some of the things we believe God has called us to be as a church. We believe we are called to be gospel-focussed, transformational, multigenerational, multicultural, releasing, and a church that plants churches. Here is a condensed version of the message that Nick preached a few weeks ago about being transformational.
Have you ever heard of Grindrod, BC? It’s a sleepy town of about 1500 people in British Columbia on Highway 97 between Sicamous and Kelowna. My wife, Margaret, and I have driven through it many times to and from Kelowna on our visits to her sister. We did so again just a few days ago. The prominent image of Grindrod, in my mind at least, is the front and side of Gord’s New & Used. You drive right by it as a big curve in the road winds casually around Gord’s building. This time driving by, it got me thinking about Legacy — my personal Legacy and the Legacy of this church. I don’t wish to demean Gord but my internal response on this trip was … wow, I hope the legacy I leave is more than a pile of hubcaps.
In the last post, Dwayne shared about being gospel-focussed. Our next focus is to be Transformational. We are also striving to be multigenerational, multicultural, releasing and a church that plants churches over the next two to five years. I would like to call them Legacy Targets.
What do I mean by Legacy?
Consider this definition: “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor; like the legacy of ancient Rome.”
- There are two key aspects of legacy: what one generation builds or creates becomes what another generation inherits.
- A Legacy can be positive: for example, a legacy of success, of wealth, of victory, of faithfulness, of fruitfulness.
- A legacy can be negative: such as a legacy of failure, alcoholism, brokenness, or divorce
Legacy Target #2 — Trinity becoming a Transformational Church
Let’s define our bearings for becoming Transformational by using a GPS perspective. GPS usually means Global Positioning System; today GPS will stand for a Grammar, Process and Scope perspective.
Grammar. These are the meanings and expressions of words related to being Transformational.
Transform (verb): “make a marked change in the form, nature, or appearance of.” Marlene can transform a canvas with two brushes and a few tubes of paint.
Conform (verb): “to be similar or identical also : to be in agreement or harmony.” Dave is hesitant to conform to a local political perspective.
Transformation (noun): “a marked change in form, nature, or appearance.” Don’s grandchildren would see a remarkable transformation if he would only shave.
Transformer (noun): “one who transforms.” Tony Hilling is a transformer of prisoners into free men.
Transformational (adjective): “relating to or involving transformation or transformations.” Trinity Church aims to be a transformational influence in Red Deer and beyond.
Process. What are the steps for Trinity to be Transformational?
- In John 3:3, Jesus said “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. We must be born again.” Becoming Transformational requires individuals to be born
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When we confess with our mouths that Christ is Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised him from the dead we are ‘in Christ’ and we will be saved. Being transformational means that old things will pass away and new things will begin to come.
- Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” A transformational people will experience their minds being renewed and conformed to that which is good, acceptable and perfect.
- 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” The process continues as we behold the Glory of the Lord the author and finisher of our faith.
- Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Thank you God that you are watching over, guiding, encouraging us in the process — bringing it to completion.
Scope — What is the extent, what is the context of being transformed & transformational
- We are a Word and Spirit Church: Guided by the Word, Led by the Spirit; we have boundaries without limit
- It is a spiritual perspective: God’s kingdom; not the kingdom or kingdoms of the world. The church not the gym; the spirit, not the body. Even though it may impact the gym, the transformational journey is led by the spirit.
- It comes with a warning: Use it or lose it. Mark 14:34,35: “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its savor, with what will it be seasoned? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile, and it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
- It’s personal. Mark 1:15: “the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe in the gospel!” Ephesians 4:24: “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Transformational living must be part of every believer’s story.
- Within the church. Eph 4:12,13: “to equip the saints for works of ministry and to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.” Becoming transformational happens as the church.
- All nations. Matt 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” ‘Nations’ at home and abroad will be touched by a Transformational community.
Finally, being a transformational church has the potential to affect individuals, the church, culture and time. October 31 was be the 503rd anniversary of an event that set the world on fire. Listen to what Martin Luther, the little German Monk, wrote when he wrestled with Romans 1:17: “The just shall live by faith.”
I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement The just shall live by faith. Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through sheer grace and mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took a new meaning, and whereas before ‘the justice of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.