When many people, especially those who have grown up in the church, hear about being “transformed” it can strike fear in their hearts. Many people I know were forced to conform to a standard of holiness that was not established by God, but by the church or a particular denomination or group of Christians they hung out with. Typically this “transforming” process was strictly a list of outward do’s and don’ts that had nothing to do with true spirituality, but a measuring stick that made people feel they were more (or less) spiritual than their peers. It created a fear of God based on false expectations.
When someone new to or outside of the faith hears of “transformation”, I can only imagine what they assume. Basically, we are talking about change, change in us, through a process of life as we all encounter trials, temptations, victories, new chapters, decisions, losses, adventures, etc., we are changed, simply speaking. How we respond to these events is the issue.
Transformation Vs. Individualism
EDGE Program is so different from traditional church experiences on so many levels. Yes, we are a collective, but with a focus on individualism; we believe that God created us as individuals and He speaks and moves through us thusly. His work in us and through us is as unique as we are – by design.
We have no agenda at EDGE when it comes to your “transformation” – or the change that takes place in and through you, but God does. Even if you are unsure of God’s involvement in your life, He is certain of it. We believe God is at work and while yes, He can use supernatural efforts to speak into your life, most often He uses the everyday, mundane tasks. He allows us to meet people as we stand in line for a bus or sitting in a bar, people who teach us as we teach them. It is the very everyday, seemingly small encounters that mold and shape us. He can awaken in us a previously undiscovered creative talent that gives us joy. He gives us opportunities to expand our comfort zones and learn to trust.
Safety in Numbers
EDGE is a safe community where we talk about what we are learning, not in profound theological terms, but in everyday, unique ways. It is safe. We have no spiritual ruler to measure your progress. Sometimes EDGEies will feel that very little has taken place in their lives over their summer experience; they mistakingly think they leave the same as when they arrived. Very often they don’t see the changes in them until they return home, back to familiar surroundings and catch glimpses of a new version of themselves. It’s like that child who doesn’t feel they’re growing day to day and then after summer break, they pull on an old pair or jeans on the first day of school and they now look like high waters! GROWTH!
So I ask: How will we respond to these events in our lives; these seemingly insignificant moments? Do we grow in Christ character or crumble into bitterness and anger? We do both. Because we are human. We are imperfect under His perfect plan.