28th May 2018

God's Mission And Our Transformation

(from www.churchofscotland.org.uk)


"Don't focus on whether you are dying. Focus on God's mission and your transformation."

Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains.
It seems inevitable that any institution would rather talk endlessly about change or even instruct change when that change will not, in fact, carry any personal cost to those charged with driving and defining the future course of the organisation. And so statistics are quoted, dire predictions are shared and, when those predictions are realised, folk can rest in the knowledge that they were right.
What is much more difficult and way more costly is to BE the change that we need to be. To submit and be challenged by personal transformation in order to effect organisational change. Indeed it may even be that our personal transformation is not enough to change the institution. But that does not mean that we should avoid it. 
When God called Moses out of his self imposed exile to go and lead God's people out of Egypt, Moses recognised all too well how ill-equipped he was for the task but, in humility, he responded to the call of God. And all through the years in the wilderness, time and again, Moses was forced to return to that place of inadequacy and ineffectiveness, that place where only reliance on God allowed God's purpose to be fulfilled. The Moses we see glimpsing the Promised Land, a land he knew he would not enter, is a man who was prepared to submit to incredible personal transformation, the kind of transformation he could never have imagined. Other leaders emerged along the way and were mentored by Moses as he modelled for them the transforming power of God.
As we navigate our way through this wilderness season in the church today, our task as leaders is not to provide answers but to model transformation through which God equips us for the journey, calling us into God's mission today. At the very least, that requires humility and dependence on God. It requires us not to lead with answers but to lead with questions, the kind of questions that seek to discern God's will and purpose for our lives and that enable and empower others to discern God's will and purpose for their lives. God's preferred and promised future is writ large in Scripture. God's peacable kingdom has been outlined by priests and prophets through the ages. That kingdom will be realised when we respond to the challenge to be transformed as we participate in the mission of God.
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

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