Transformational Churches

I have known about the book, but it is funny how something really grabs your attention after a while. I found this information online and have moved this book to the top of my reading list. How has the church gotten away from the original mission of making disciples, and growing an “army” of disciple-makers? And how do we measure our success, certainly it can’t be by the standards of the world. Take five to see this video. Who is doing this, and how has it worked?

Transformational Discipleship, by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley and Philip Nation

A Christian’s desire to grow in faith is beautiful and biblical, best illustrated in Jeremiah 17 where Scripture describes “The man who trusts in the LORD” as being “like a tree planted by water… It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”

But how do people really grow spiritually? Transformational Discipleship describes the process that brings to life that kind of person described in the Bible. There’s no magic formula or mantra to recite here, but rather a substantive measure of research with churches and individuals who have wholeheartedly answered the call of Jesus to make disciples.

A compilation of their wisdom and stories, it guides church leaders and members to practice the intentional efforts needed to foster an entire culture in which people grow in Christian faith.

And people will grow, not because of human research, but by the power of God’s Word and of the Holy Spirit working through the church; the same way disciples have always been made. When the people of God engage in the mission of God through the Spirit of God, lives are transformed.

The Transformational Discipleship Assessment: The TDA is an online assessment tool that helps individuals and churches assess spiritual strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to help churches in the process of making disciples.

Anyone who would like to understand better where they might begin to grow spiritually should use this tool. The TDA was designed so that a small group, Sunday School class, or even an entire church could participate in the assessment.

Here are the eight discipleship attributes:

  1. Bible Engagement
  2. Obeying God and Denying Self
  3. Serving God and Others
  4. Sharing Christ
  5. Exercising Faith
  6. Seeking God
  7. Building Relationships
  8. Unashamed (Transparency)

Transformational Church: by Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer

How are we doing? The church, that is. And how are we doing it? Congregations have long measured success by “bodies, budget, and buildings” (a certain record of attendance, the offering plate, and square footage). But the scorecard can’t stop there. When it does, the deeper emphasis on accountability, discipleship, and spiritual maturity is lost. Ignoring those details, we see fewer lives transformed, Christian influence wane, and churches thin out–a situation that is all too familiar across North America today.

It is time to take heart and rework the scorecard. According to Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer, “Too often we’ve highlighted the negative realities of the declining American church but missed the opportunity to magnify the God of hope and transformation.”

Based on the most comprehensive study of its kind, including a survey of more than 7,000 churches and hundreds of on-site interviews with pastors, Transformational Church takes us to the thriving congregations where truly changing lives is the norm.

Stetzer and Rainer clearly confirm the importance of disciple making for all through active biblical engagement and prayerful dependence on God alongside of ever-increasing, intentional participation in mission and ministry activities. As the church engages these issues, the world will see the change:

  • More people following Christ
  • More believers growing in their faith
  • More churches making an impact on their communities

The transformation starts now.

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