I have just finished reading Keith Meyer’s Whole Life Transformation:Becoming the Change Your Church Needs. It is not often that I read a book about the purpose of church life and ministry that impresses me more – partly I am sure because what Keith has to say resonates very deeply with what Tom and I believe in – the fact that the gospel message is not about some spiritual decision we make in our hearts but rather about the transformation of our lives.
Keith takes to task, in a very gentle way, churches that are more concerned about quantitative than qualitative growth. He is a strong advocate for spiritual formation being at the heart of a church not just another programme the church is involved in.
We cannot put transformation in only one part of a person’s life or activities. Ir must be the heart and interior life force that drives everything in a person’s life. This is what it means when Jesus says that we must lose our present life for a new one.
The same goes for the church. A church centered on the formation of disciples will need to lose its current corporate life for kingdom life. And it starts with those in charge, the senior pastor, the leadership teams and then those in every part of the church. But the key is that it takes hold in how our people, from adults to infants, are trained in formal and informal curricula for Christlikeness in their everyday world. (83)
This is a very practical book with lots of suggestions of how to help move your own life and that of your church from from a programme to a disciple making approach. I particularly loved the emphasis on spiritual formation at the centre and the need for a church leadership to develop a corporate rule of life to govern their interactions. Keith gives a challenging and convicting example of what this can look like in his chapter on Ruling in Kingdom Life. In summary:
- Living in Jesus
- Living in transformation
- Living in community
- Living in mission
- Living in reconciliation
- Living in good speech
- Living in submission to one another
I would heartily recommend this book not just to those in church leadership but to anyone who is wants practical help in seeing their lives transformed to become more Christlike.