How do people change? That’s a question people have been wrestling with for ages. What constitutes real change and how do we get there? Many Christians would respond that change comes about through our interaction and encounter with God, the ways we experience him as we read the Bible and pray.
I would agree with that response, yet I think it’s only part of the answer. I believe there are two other elements that– when experienced in the context of our engagement with God– also have the potential to bring about real transformation: sacrificial service and authentic relationships. Engagement with God, honest reflection with others, serving alongside one another on mission together… taken together we change as we go through this process. We are transformed. It’s not just “me and God”–the process is much more interconnected than that.
Consider the following biblical relationships where serving together was part of the deal:
- Nathan and David
- Esther and Mordecai
- Moses, Aaron, and Miriam
- Jesus and Peter
- Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark
How did the people grow through their work together in ways they wouldn’t have grown alone? I know in my own life that because of the people I serve alongside there’s been some profound transformation in my own life– transformation that wouldn’t have happened had I been alone.
We experience transformation as we interact with God, with each other, and as we serve. From there we see the power of the gospel transforming us, others, and the communities around us.