Ed Stetzer, President of Lifeway Research, says he enjoys the element of discovery that comes through the research projects. He adds, "Our work on Transformational Church was no different. But it was different for me because of one large factor - I was serving as an interim pastor during the conclusion of the study."
"As Thom Rainer and I were writing the book, I was also guiding a church through a comeback. They had experienced grief, hardship and decline. I could see in them what I saw in the study - the desire in churches to experience transformation. So we led and taught and guided the church toward the gospel that delivers hope. Toward the end of my time with the church, I invited Thom Rainer and Philip Nation to share in a sermon series simply titled 'Transformation.'"
Below is a message outline of the series. See his a link to a fuller manuscript at the bottom of this page.
Transformation sermon series
What is 'Transformation,' really?
"Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."
We are not trying to conjure up transformation. It is within us, and we are to live toward it. But in doing so, it helps to know what the transformed life looks like. So what does the transformed life look like?
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
2. Seek a renewed mind
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
3. Serving the mission of God's kingdom
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of faith; if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
4. Learn to love properly
Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-10)
Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
6. Proper perspective
Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
7. In community
Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone's eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.