Transform Individuals, Families, and Our Neighborhoods

This post is the next in a series that explores each part of the IMPACT acrostic. Each post is designed to expand the meaning and usefulness of the actions indicated in the acrostic. It is important to remember that the IMPACT Blog gets its name from a keyword in our FBC mission statement, so as we explore the larger meaning behind our name, we are also exploring foundational goals and values of FBC Hartselle.

Influence the culture

Make disciples who make disciples

Permeate the Community

Act according to the leading of the Holy Spirit

Create awareness in the community

Transform individuals, families, and our neighborhoods

The word “transform” is defined as “make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of.”

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17–18)

At salvation, when we are justified through Christ’s sacrificial death for our sins, we begin a process of transformation by which we become more and more like Christ. The Bible calls this process sanctification. Ultimately, when we join Jesus in Heaven and see Him face-to-face, we’ll experience glorification.

Transformation is a theme running throughout the Bible.

In the beginning, God transformed nothingness into everything that exists; He transformed dust into human beings. In the Old Testament, we see Him transform men like Abraham from a childless nomad to the father of immeasurable numbers of descendants. Jacob is transformed from deceiver to patriarch. Moses, from murderer to deliverer. David, from sheepherder to King.

The New Testament tells of transformed lives, too.  A band of ordinary men is transformed into disciples. The lame are transformed into runners; frightened followers into heroes, sinners into missionaries, prisoners into preachers and writers.

Jesus still transforms lost and hopeless offenders into a royal priesthood, called out of darkness into His marvelous light as explained by 1 Peter 2:9: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Surely, as followers of Christ, God’s plan allows us to be transformed

and to be instruments in the transformation of people around us.

Christians should experience a progressive transformation in life by the renewing of our minds toward Christlikeness. Romans 12:2 says, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Only God can cause transformation to happen in a believer’s life. This will happen as we worship God, study His Word, pray, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill our beings.

You may be wondering, “If God does all the transforming, what is our part”? The proper answer is that we should neither be passive nor seek to rely on our own performance. Our task is to get people into the pathway of God’s transforming power. Accomplishing that task will require our church to do more than sit on our corner and wait for people to come to us. We will have to get moving into places where those people live, work, and play.

How can we see a transformation in individuals?

  • Ask the Lord to put people in your path with whom He is already working.

  • Strike up a Gospel conversation whenever possible.

  • Spend meaningful time with God every day, keeping your relationship with Him strong.

  • Understand that our timing is not God’s timing. We are “seed planters,” and he produces the harvest in His time.

How can we see a transformation in families?

  • Begin with our own family and experience transformation first-hand.

  • Invite families to attend ministries offered by FBC like Upward basketball/cheerleading or our PALS pre-K school.

  • Invite families to attend our worship services and small groups.

  • Interact with other parents who are not yet believers.

How can we see a transformation take place in our neighborhoods?

  • Prayer walk around your neighborhood asking God to open doors for ministry.

  • Look for needs and take action to provide solutions where possible.

  • Pray often for the spiritual needs of the home in front, behind, and beside your home.

  • Build a reputation in your neighborhood as a spiritual leader.

It’s appropriate that our acrostic ends with the letter “T” representing “Transform.” After all, that’s what God desires for us to experience. An added blessing in our transformation is that others may join in the process by receiving the life-changing Truth of the Gospel.

Where is God calling you to begin? With an individual? With a family? In your neighborhood?

What is God calling you to do as FBC makes an “IMPACT” on Hartselle, AL?