There is a lot of talk about transformation these days. It speaks to the yearning in believer around the world to go beyond head knowledge or behavioral adjustments to a deep and lasting change that allows us to be incarnational in our ministry to others.
But where does transformation begin? What launches transformation in our hearts? I was reading a post in the Lausanne Global Conversation from a friend of mine, Pauline Hoggarth, and she hit on this very question.
In her post about the ongoing Ephesians study that will be central to the Cape Town 2010 event, she said, “…metaphors function at the level of our imagination and it’s in our imagination that the process of transformation begins. Our imagination engages the cogs of our will to bring about transformed behaviour and attitudes.”
She was talking about the use of metaphors in Ephesians and the power they have to engage us and transform us. I had never thought of how our imagination is where the first stirrings of transformation are found but it rings very true.
Think about it . . . as you go about your Christian walk, there are moments when God stirs in you a new idea or understanding of Him and what obedience looks like. Your imagination propels you forward to consider the idea further and then to act on it.
But capturing the imagination is not something we often focus on in evangelism and discipleship is it? We have tended to focus on propositions and ideas or on emotions and fears. What would it look like if you strived to capture people’s imaginations in order to launch them into transformation?
Engage: Ask yourself how you can engage someone’s imagination in your ministry life today and then challenge others to do the same.
Own: Look for examples of people who are capturing the imagination of those they minister to and talk with them about the transformation they are seeing in those people’s lives.
Also, remember that the focus of the July 2010 Ephesians study is to: Consider how the different parts of the letter fit together. Write an outline. e.g. Eph 1:1-2 Opening address; Eph. 5:21-6:9 Command “Submit to one another” followed by 3 illustrations (wives/husbands, children/fathers, slaves/masters).