Saturday, March 21, 2009

Brave New Swirl

In as much as the church is a body of transformation, and conversion is a vital part of that process; I often speak to folks about how to be more faithful to the transformation.  How can we be more mindful of the conversions?  How can we encourage our community to deepen its commitment to growing in transformation into Christ-likeness?

I've become so consumed by it that I tracked down a list from the Harvard Business Review on transformation theory.  It has several steps.  They are secular primarily, so I converted them to our more spiritual understanding of the process.  "Change of heart", "inner experience of oneness", "the mystery of God's life within us" (p.99), and the classic terms such as "surrender", "detachment", "compassion", and "forgiveness" instead of "develop a sense of urgency", "develop a powerful coalition", "empower others in short term wins".  

The Harvard Business Review numbers its list.  Does this mean the process is linear?  The more I talk to folks about their experiences of transformation in the church, the more I understand that it doesn't work that way.

So from Church Street to Wall Street: maybe it's not a linear process.  Perhaps the "poverty, pain, struggle, anguish, agony, and even inner darkness" (p. 100) that continue to be a part of our experience is because our conversion, our submission, our compassion and our forgiveness swirl around back and forth.  Once we go through all the steps we aren't done with them.  We go back.  And forth.  And back.  And forth.

We revisit God's claim on our child when he was 3 months old when at 18 he let's us know that he's just not into church anymore.

We remember our submission to God's love for us when we find ourselves overcommitted and burned out and we don't have any love or anything else to offer ourselves or anybody else.

We go back to God's forgiveness when our spouse says: "I can't live this way anymore."

Our first reaction might not be: "But I'm transformed!"

Sometimes the best we can do is swirl back around.

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