And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 NKJV
We were on the precipice of a breakthrough when I heard those infamous words: “We’ve never done it that way before.”
Every church I’ve pastored wanted transformation of some sort. I witnessed it before accepting the calls, but the key leaders saw it also. For one, it was size. They had dwindled to 35 people. Young adult families with children were moving away. New programs were needed. At the next church, it was a new building. The current one had deteriorated. Bats filled the belfry. No bathrooms existed upstairs. The next was steeped in traditions that were killing the future of the church.
As I and the leaders attempted to enact the things necessary for transformation in appearance, attitudes, and attendance, we were often met with resistance: We’ve never done things this way before. We can’t afford for people to leave. How will we pay for it? Are we large enough to support this program?
Churches periodically need transformation because believers need transformation. Instead of being conformed to the bad attitudes and evil actions of the world, Paul says I should transform or renew my mind so that it reflects the thoughts of Christ.
Discouragement, fear, unforgiveness, and pessimism are all transformation killers. Naysayers will always be present when transformation is on the horizon. Their lists of reasons why transformation can’t take place can be lengthy, but they are all designed to discourage enthusiasm—whether they realize it or not. Discouragement can spread like a raging wildfire and bring pessimism with it. Both will kill excitement.
Fear is sometimes behind the transformation resistance. Fear of change. Fear of the different. But God isn’t the author of that spirit. He gives a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind. Belief, faith, and trust will drive away the fear of transformation.
Unforgiveness will also kill transformation by preventing people from working together to make transformation happen. Old feuds. Conflicts between personalities.
Give God any mindset that’s keeping you or your church from being transformed.
Prayer: Father, renew our minds daily so our actions will move us into the areas of transformation You desire for us.