Recently I conducted my first small group session of the Transformed church-wide campaign. Transformed is a fifty-day study written by Rick Warren and produced by Saddleback Church. Based on Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds;
Transformed challenges Christians to experience transformation in seven key areas of their lives.
At the end of fifty days participants will be equipped to live transformed spiritual lives.
In the introductory video Pastor Rick promotes church-wide campaigns as an effective method of growing the local church in terms of discipleship, number of participants, financial stewardship,
mission and ministry.
In the introduction, Pastor Rick describes using the program as “just add water and stir.” While there is some truth to that statement, the reality is that discipleship is never that simple; nor is it meant to be.
I’m confident that Rick Warren understands the cost of discipleship, and equally sure that he does not intend to diminish the requirements of following Christ. It is however, crucial to acknowledge that the call of Christ on our lives is all-inclusive. Discipleship involves the totality of our lives: spiritual, family, vocational, educational, financial, and so on. Discipleship is all-demanding. When we choose to deny Christ entre into any area of our lives we reject discipleship in favor of cheap grace. Anything that we allow to occupy the rightful place of Christ on the throne of our lives denies our claim to discipleship.
At the end of fifty days I am confident that we will see a new church. Bold statement? Absolutely! Arrogant? Naive? Not at all. At the end of fifty days some of us will be transformed. A few of us will have accepted the call to be transformed in all spheres of our lives. It takes only a pinch of yeast to leaven the whole batch. Those of us who dare to take the call of Christ seriously are the salt, light, and leaven in a world covered in darkness.
At the conclusion of this program people will take seriously the call of Jesus, “follow me.” Those people will follow Jesus in all areas of their lives. Those folks will be called “disciples.” Not all Christians are disciples. Some Christians are mere spectators; sitting in the stands, watching and cheering when their team is winning; whining and complaining when things don’t go their way. Alas, there are far more spectators than participants.
Not so with us. We not only claim Jesus as Lord and Savior, we live Jesus as Lord and Savior. We will see a new church in terms of her spirit; her service; her love. We claim discipleship! We live discipleship!!
A new church is emerging from the detritus of the past. God is doing a new thing.