Archive for the ‘transformation’ Category

Back To One

Posted: August 30, 2015 in transformation

stand-out-from-the-crowd2

I’ve recently noticed a device being used by many TV shows. It is to begin a show by dropping you right into the middle of the plot during a climactic moment. With no context or background you’re left struggling to try and figure out what’s going on. Then at the beginning of the next scene they let you off the hook by saying something like: “48 hours earlier…” and they take you back to the beginning of the story.
If the last blog post on paradigms represents the future climax of the transformation story, then this blog post takes us back to the beginning of the story. It’s true that teaching on transformation often focuses on the big picture where whole communities are being changed by the power of God in answer to the fervent prayers of His people. This is exciting stuff, but we can never wander too far from the fact that transformation spreads through transformed people not transformation formulas or programs. To do the subject justice we have to go back to one.

Before asking what does a transformed community look like, we should first answer the question: what does a transformed person look like? God will always start by transforming a person and then use that person in concert with others to transform a community (or a household, neighborhood, business…). Wisdom seeks out God’s priorities first.
What are God’s priorities when it comes to transformation?
God wants to transform my…

  • Soul (2 Corinthians 5:17) Jesus said we must be born again.  By placing my faith in Jesus Christ I become a new creation in Christ.
  • Mind (Romans 12:2)  The Apostle Paul said that I am transformed as I align my thinking with the truth of God’s Word, the Bible.
  • Nature (Galatians 2:20) God wants me to know the freedom and the power of an exchanged life. As I yield my life to the Holy Spirit Jesus lives through me.
  • Worship (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) Through time spent in God’s presence I am transformed into His likeness from glory to ever-increasing glory.
  • World (Acts 1:8) God wants to expand the circle of His Lordship to include my marriage, family, workplace, neighborhood, and city.

In the next blog post I will introduce “Basic Training” which will form the first stand alone unit of this blog series. Its focus will be the transformation of our soul and mind.
Live inside the circle. Be transformed!

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Priming the Pump

Posted: August 25, 2015 in transformation

bucket o water

Most of time when I speak on the subject of city transformation it is to pastors and church planters. It is not uncommon for most pastors to only consider the potential impact of their own churches on the community where they serve. When exposed to a bigger vision of the Church, and the potential of churches praying and working together to transform their entire community, I can see the wheels of both excitement and conflict begin to spin in their heads. They’re excited about the possibility of a major move of God in their city. They’re conflicted as they consider the price and whether they are willing to pay that price.

I once heard a story where a man is lost in the desert without water and is desperate and dying when he comes across a well with a hand pump. Next to the pump is a bucket filled with water and a note attached which says “This well will provide all the water you need but the pump must be primed using the entire bucket of water next to the well. When you leave please refill the bucket for the next person.”

Herein lies the dilemma, do you believe the note and risk pouring the entire bucket of life giving water down the well for the possibility of limitless water, or do you drink the water even though it may only preserve your life for a short time? This is the same dilemma Jesus presents to us when He said “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it”. (Matthew 10:39 NLT)

In the next blog post I will share the 6 paradigms of transformation. These paradigms are the common principles being practiced by people and in places where God is doing miraculous things beyond what many reading this may have previously thought possible. As I develop these core principles in this blog over the coming months I pray that you will see the benefit and the blessings of pouring the whole bucket of water into the well.

Live inside the circle. Be transformed!

Paradigms

Posted: August 1, 2015 in transformation

I was first exposed to the idea of city transformation in 1991. I was a young pastor who was asking questions like: Does God still do things like he did during Jonah’s time? When Jonah finally made it to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s word an entire city repented and turned to God including the king!  I brought a worship team with me from California to La Plata, Argentina to participate in a city-wide outreach with Harvest Evangelism. I saw the churches of the city coming together to worship in humility and love. I saw strategic prayer being lifted up over the city to tear down strongholds and bless the community. I saw many people being saved and a city being transformed before my eyes. It completely changed my opinion of what was possible in our day and cemented within me a vision for transformation that burns inside me to this day.

2015 City Transformation & Prayer Summit

Pastors praying at City Transformation & Prayer Summit, Chennai, India, 2015

Since then I have seen firsthand and studied accounts of the things that God has been doing all over the world to bring about transformation in both small ways (as if any move of God could be categorized as small) and on a large scale. In 2013 I founded Glory to Glory Transformation Project for the purpose of inspiring, equipping, and unleashing the Church to be the catalyst for transformation in their communities around the world. Our goal is to not only cast vision for pastors and leaders, but to make transformation principles accessible to people of all stages of faith.

The following 6 paradigms are the common principles being practiced among believers where transformation is taking place. These have been compiled and adapted from multiple sources. Together they form a blueprint for how God’s people can position themselves to be candidates for the supernatural!

Paradigm #1: The Kingdom of God advances on our knees through fervent, focused, and united prayer.

Paradigm #2: God has chosen the Church as His primary means of transforming the world, and since Christ is in the Church, there is nothing on earth with greater potential than God’s Church.

Paradigm #3: Every believer is a minister and has a unique calling as an agent of transformation in the world in which they live.

Paradigm #4: Repentance and forgiveness remove the primary roadblocks to transformation and position us for the supernatural.

Paradigm #5: God has delegated spiritual authority to people, institutions, and the Church as a means of blessing the people, communities and nations in which they live.

Paradigm #6: The Kingdom of God is established wherever Satan’s kingdom is renounced and Jesus Christ is welcomed in to rule and reign.

Live inside the circle. Be transformed!

“Come Kingdom of God! Be done will of God!” (Literal translation of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:10)

Welcome to “Life Inside the Circle”. This is a blog series on transformation.

What is transformation? Boiled all the way down to its essence, transformation is what happens when I draw a circle around myself and invite Jesus to be the Ruler of everything within the circle. I declare “Lord, inside this circle let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done in my life as it is in heaven!”

Wherever Christ is invited in and installed as King, that physical location becomes a beachhead for the Kingdom of God. Allowing Jesus to rule within the circle means that I relinquish my right to rule my own life. Easier said than done, but when I do this to the best of my understanding (the Holy Spirit gives continuous revelation of how I can better yield the various parts of my life to Christ’s Lordship) God will engage in the process of transformation.

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By definition transformation is a process, it is a metamorphosis from one state of being to another state of being. 2 Corinthians 3:18 describes this as being transformed from glory to ever-increasing glory.

The ultimate progression of a transformed life is to see the circle expand beyond just a single individual to encompass marriages, cell groups, congregations, the marketplace (business, education, government), and whole communities and cities.  A transformed city is a place where even the very institutions of the city are being changed by the power of God as ordinary believers expand the perimeter of their circle in unity with other like-minded believers in the places where they work, play, and worship. There is no more exciting place to be than where the Kingdom of God is expanding and people’s lives are being radically changed by the power and grace of God!

The purpose of this blog is fully explore the principles and conditions by which transformation takes place in my life and in my world. I invite you to come along for the ride!

Live inside the circle. Be transformed!

Mike Thorley is the founder and president of the Glory to Glory Transformation Project, created to inspire, equip, and unleash the Church to be the catalyst for transformation in their communities around the world.