“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…” Romans 12:2
Are we about the business of transformation? What do I mean, well, as the phrase suggest, I am asking are we as Christians about doing the work of our Lord? Are we about making disciples, about changing people?
I was recently challenged to think about this and apply it to my life and ministry. Too often, if we do not take care, we see the Christian life and church as series of transactions instead of a place of transformation. We say, I have read my scripture, check. I have spent time in prayer, check. Or as a church, we have brought a person to a decision, check. We have baptized them, check. We have assigned them to a Sunday School or small group, check. But this is not what Christ called us to be and do. He called us to live different. He called us to lead others to live different.
George Whitefield, a English Anglican cleric and one of the founders of Methodism and the evangelical movement, spoke clearly about a church that full of the uninspired whose heart were unchanged and unrepentant. He called his listeners to “Come to hear them, not out of curiosity, but from a sincere desire to know and do your duty. To enter His house merely to have our ears entertained, and not our hearts reformed, must certainly be highly displeasing to the Most High God, as well as unprofitable to ourselves. ...”
His rebuke applies not only to those who first heard it but to us and it speaks to our tendency to desire a transaction and not transformation. Let us not be observers of the faith but practitioners. Let us say that it starts with us and let us live out the transformed life in how we speak and live. Let us not have a check list to complete but a passion to follow Christ and call others to do likewise.