Are stories of transformation normal at your church?
When was the last time you heard another church member testify to God's transformative power in their life?
Would you like to see your church become a more potent instrument of change?
God has determined that the church would be the lead instrument of change in the world. And not just for the salvation of unbelievers but for the ongoing transformation of people within the church itself.
In Ephesians 4:12 Paul makes it clear that the leaders of the church are to equip the saints for the work of ministry – the ministry of maturing the saints. But how does change happen? You might answer that by saying – people need Jesus. And that's true. We know change happens when you connect people to Jesus, but how do you connect Jesus to the addict, the anxious and fearful person, the depressed person, the stay-at-home mum, the grieving saint? That's much harder. This is where the Move course is helpful.
"Move – Introduction to gospel change" is the beginning of the process to increase the potency of your church as an instrument of change. It is a two-day workshop that will equip your people with a practical theology helping them to understand themselves, others, and the way change happens. It is based upon biblical counselling principles, is interactive, and pitched at a regular church member level.
Part one is more theoretical and looks at how God’s grace and kindness changes us in the details of life. It is run over two one day workshops.
Part two is intensely practical. It consists of four modules which can be completed over 2 years or compacted into four individual workshop days covering topics such as: how to love others, how to move towards sufferers, and helping the angry, anxious and escaping. If you want to know how to interpret, understand and apply the Bible in a powerful way, helpful to what the Spirit is wanting to do in someone’s life, this course will help you.
W H O ? . . .
People such as small group leaders, Restoration Group leaders, church staff members and anyone who is keen to grow in the way they practically interact with others. If you have ever asked any of these questions then the Move course will be helpful to you:
How do I help someone when they’re hurting?
How do I point someone back to Jesus when they’re doubting? How do I be a better friend?
What kind of movement am I on the lookout for in other people’s lives? How do I need God’s grace to move and change me?
How can I interpret, understand and apply the Bible in a way that is powerful and helpful to what the Spirit is wanting to do in someone’s life?
How do I love people who are struggling?
S T R U C T U R E . . .
Move has four modules, which may be completed in any order. Move is offered at a relaxed pace over two years, or can be neatly compacted into a series of workshop days.
- Moving towards others – loving people well
- Moving towards scripture and others – biblical interpretation and application to pastoral care
- Moving towards people who are angry, anxious, and escaping
- Moving towards sufferers
Move uses pass/fail assessment. It's designed to slow you down and make you thoughtful about what you are doing and how you are growing. In an information driven world with news and social media feeds we can become adept at filtering through what is thrown our way and only treating it as useful or useless information. If we treat pastoral care and life change that way we will lose something very precious. Assessment always requires that you slow down and think long and hard about what you are doing. We all need to grow in wisdom and character… we are learners by default.
H E A R T . . .
We live in a world of movement. Everything moves, everything changes. There is only one thing that doesn’t change in the world that we live in and that is God himself (Malachi 3:6). When God made the world he made things to grow and change – He made people to grow and change.
But change as we know it is not the straight-line trajectory we would expect to see in a perfect world. Where God has made us to grow and mature, sin has entered in to corrupt us (Psalm 53:1). The effect of sin is death – physical death, spiritual death, relational death, emotional death… and so on.
Humanity is a mixed bag. Sometimes we need to grow and mature, in line with God’s design for us, other times we need surgery and healing from the cancerous change agent that is sin.
Enter Jesus – the hinge of a history long movement, a movement God started at the first sin – to rescue, restore and reorient people back to Himself.
In spite of all this, there is a now/not yet reality to our lives. While Christ dealt with all our sins on the cross, we still experience the reality of indwelling sin. Though sin is now abnormal for those in Christ, we still find ourselves under its influence – we are still moved and changed in ways that are not normal, helpful or fitting for the son or daughter of God. But God has not left us in the lurch. He has given us what we need to be transformed into His image – to become what we are.
One of the vital tools God gives us for our transformation is our brothers and sisters in Christ. God has tasked up every member of the body of Christ with the responsibility to minister to and bring each other to maturity (Ephesians 4:12). While the leaders of the church are responsible for equipping regular church members, it is the body of Christ (in concert with the Holy Spirit) that carries great responsibility for bringing about movement towards maturity in church members. God uses people who are desperately in need of change to help others who are desperately in need to change.