Christianity has an image problem and is stuck in the quagmire of an identity crisis. The Church has become known more for what it opposes than Who it is for. The image the culture has of the Church is a negative one, seeing the Church as a legalistic, dogmatic, self-oriented, and exclusive institution. It is a far cry from the example that Jesus, the founder and cornerstone of the Church, lived out while on earth some two thousand years ago. The Church of the twenty-first century desperately needs to show the world a people who facilitate a deeper, more authentic vision of the Church Jesus originally called it to be.
The word ‘change’ strikes fear in the heart of most American Church members and leaders. The result is that change, in many cases, never happens. The ultimate result in no change is stagnation leading to death. On the other side of the coin, change must be seen from a completely different lens. It is a lens shaped by a God-mandate to do some things differently. The results will be transformative. The Church must realize that transformation is a process, a lifelong journey. It is motivated by life and is reproductive in its nature. It produces a vision of birthing and positively impacts everyone and every thing it comes into contact with. The ultimate result of transformation is new life, more life, and it comes in an abundant and multiplying manner.
The purpose of this project is to provide hope for churches in need of transition. It can be done! It is possible to take a church from an institutional mind-set and transform it into a missional way of life. It is not a task that is easily obtainable. But with an understanding of the process and a directive from the Holy Spirit it can be accomplished. This project is not a how-to paper for instant success, but it has been written to hopefully implode some of the embedded theology that has beset the Church over the centuries. In the aftermath of the implosion, the challenge is for every reader to examine his or her heart and, as a result, pursue God with greater intensity.
The problem is that transformation has not been accomplished in many churches. Many experts and authorities on the missional Church have stated that it is a very difficult endeavor to bring about transformation in a church. The task looms large. But the goal is attainable. With man it appears impossible, but with God, all things are possible.