Be Imitators of Christ
By this time in the Market 70 process, you have no doubt understood that transformation is not an activity or a program. It is a lifestyle. You have begun to "seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness" in everything you do – both in the marketplace and in your personal life. You see God's values and His vision in everything in which you are involved. You expect fruit in all area of your life. You see tangible proof of His transformational power in your sphere of influence. And you know – transformation is the call on your life.
Jesus spoke the call in these words: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). How could He demand that when we know we aren't even close to perfect? Ah, but look closer at that passage, for it contains a key word in understanding transformation. "Perfect" is translated from the Greek word, teleios, which means, "brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, full grown, adult, of full age, mature." The same word is used by Jesus in Matthew 19:21 when He tells the rich young man that if he wants to be complete, (NASB) he must sell all that he has, give to the poor and follow Jesus. The Lord is describing a life change, a transformation that is characterized not by specific acts, but by a lifestyle of Kingdom living.
On the cross, Jesus called out, "It is finished," using a form of the same word, teleios. His entire life was for the purpose of bringing to completion that which was begun from before creation. When He calls us to be perfect, He is calling us to reenact the redemption – to live the life of Christ, to die in Him and to be raised in Him as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:6,11,13b). This is the very heart of transformation – putting right all that has been lost, reclaiming all that He has redeemed.
Our Teleios journey begins with our spiritual birth.
Birth: It pleased God to reckon us as children and heirs (Eph 1:4-5 and John 1:12-13). Born into Him, and therefore like Him, we experience complete victory for transformation (1 John 4:17b; 5:4a)
It continues as we choose to lay down our lives.
Death: Humbling ourselves in prayer and positioning ourselves in repentance and the resulting purity has us dying to self. "If anyone comes to me and does not hate ... even his own life--he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26).
God makes it clear that in Christ's death, we are also raised with Him.
Resurrection: Committing to be Spirit-led in submission to the very plans of God, allows us to share in His resurrected purpose. "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms... He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ...to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ (Ephesians 2:6; 1:9-10)
In His resurrection power, we are equipped to carry out His mission.
Ministry: Taking on Christ's anointing (Luke 4:18-19), discipling leaders (John 17:18,20) and teaching others to speak peace, build relationships, heal body, soul and spirit and to proclaim the Kingdom (Luke 10:1-12); we carry out the Great Commission to make disciples all nations, we experience Jesus' promise that "greater works than these" we will do (John 14:12).
Transformation is not a solo activity. Please look carefully at Philippians 2:1-13 (NIV):
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
We are united with Christ. We are united with each other. What is happening in our sphere of influence is no more important than what is happening in others' spheres. God is working through leaders of transformation all over the world "to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." In this passage Paul exhorts us to unity. We are to resist any division, any jealousy. Like Christ, we are to humble ourselves under God's divine purpose, not those of any specific marketplace stream, denomination, or transformation methodology.
Research the options for involvement in transformation listed at the end of this section. Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to lead you into relationship with one of those options, or to make it clear to you that you are to do something different. We suggest using the Spirit-led strategic planning process to help you identify your specific mission in transformation.
But here is the point of this module: Make a commitment to leading transformation.
Move beyond being a leader among your team, in your organization, and even in your city – to being a leader among those committed to transformation all over the world. The Great Commission clearly calls us to all nations, not just our company, school, city, state or country. Consider the following components of transformation activity.
Lead in Your Own Individual Transformation
Be sure you are looking to your own life first. Regularly examine your personal purity. Ask God to continually examine your heart. Let Him open up every part of your personal life, your family life, and that of generations past. Eagerly look for any blockage that could keep you from experiencing freedom to receive all that God has for you. There are numerous ministries and tools to help you with this step. Generally, you can look for those who offer inner healing or deliverance ministries. If you are new to this area, we recommend you go back to Personal and Corporate Purity in step 2 of the Market 70 process. Some other resources you might like to start with are:
In your own daily life, look for opportunities to bless, fellowship, heal and proclaim the gospel. See every interaction as a divine appointment.
Lead in the Building of the Transformational Church
While Market 70 is focused on the marketplace, it does not, in any way, lessen the importance of the Church. Of course, we are the Church, but the role of churches, pastors, and ministries is absolutely vital to transformation. We need to surround ourselves with support and surround others with our support. Jesus traveled in company of disciples AND friends AND strangers. He drew support from His disciples, who in turn drew support from Him.
The concept of marketplace ministry is certainly not new, but in most churches it is largely undervalued, misunderstood, and even vilified. Pastors who "get it" need to be supported in every way. They, in turn, need to help marketplace people create an environment in which every person in the pews is seen as a minister of the gospel in his or her sphere of influence. Churches must equip marketplace ministers. Unless you take an active role in building transformational churches, we will lack the strength of unity and purpose Paul exhorts us too in the Philippians passage, above.
If your church is already a transformation church, congratulations! You are blessed to be among believers who are seeking to understand and step into full meaning of Ephesians 3:10-11, "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."
If your church has not yet begun to move in this area, find two or three people of like mind and begin praying with them regularly for opportunities to train and equip more. History is full of transformation movements that began with the prayers of one or more faithful believers.
Learn all you can about what a transformational church might look like and how you can influence your congregation to become one. Seek out and attend church transformation conferences. They are becoming more and more prevalent and you are very likely to find one in a city near you. Lead a bible study that introduces the ideas of transformation. Pastor Greg Pagh of Christ Church in Elk River, MN has developed two excellent studies that prepare and equip every church member to understand and step into transformation (see below).
If there is already a transformational church in your community, get involved in it for your own personal encouragement and edification, but don't abandon your own church. Bring in the teachings you glean from the other church. Ask members of the transformational church to pray and teach. Ask the pastor to contact and disciple your pastor. Ask if you and other like-minded believers from your church can attend studies or prayer groups to learn how to launch them back in your own congregation.
Lead in Community, City and Nation Transformation
All throughout scripture, it is clear that God cares about people groups, cities and nations. He addresses them as entities, holding them accountable for obedience and faith. Jesus involved Himself in community activities – weddings, funerals, hanging around the well, religious activities and celebrations, banquets, etc. He wept over Jerusalem. If we are to be imitators of Christ, we must learn to love our cities and nation and give ourselves up for their transformation.
You are already engaged by your efforts from Step 8 – Reaping Transformation – in that you are identifying the measures of change that would please God's heart. How do you now take a leadership role in those areas? As in the previous step, begin with prayer. Identify a few people with hearts for your city, your people group or your nation. Commit to seeking God's values and vision.
Make every effort to discover who else is working for transformation in your area. Reach out and build bridges. Support every effort to break down denominational and ministerial walls. Look at Jesus for your model – He who talked with the Samaritan woman, healed the Canaanite woman, and commended the Roman centurion. "In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
Present at conferences, or if you are not a speaker, take an active role in promoting throughout your city. Share testimonies of transformation at whatever level you are experiencing it and learn from others' experiences. Take an active role in the affairs of your city, bringing a culture of blessing where there is traditionally darkness. Reach out to police and fire personnel, school administrators and principals, your mayor and city council. Offer to help them, pray for them, and provide physical help to their constituents. Organize believers in spiritual warfare for your city as in the assignment from Step 8.
Step into a proactive role in seeing that every street in your city is adopted for prayer. Transform Our World has an online tool that makes it easy. Newark, NJ has successfully covered every street in the city and can boast in God's powerful intervention in measurable ways. This is also a natural step to help churches progress into an external focus in transformation.
Give your time and expertise selflessly to those who are struggling to build transformation from other places. Elk River, MN has been intentionally moving in transformation for over 20 years. It's participants give unbelievable amounts of their time sharing their successes and failures with other cities and even with other nations. Ray Pinson and Kevin Mitchell from Opin Systems have created a model of mentoring young entrepreneurs to be transformational in their respective industries and cities. Opin's representatives are sharing their ideas and expertise all over the world.
Give financially to those dedicated to transformation. There are many churches and non-profits who could benefit from donations, but we also envision other ways to fund transformation. Market 70 is exploring plans to provide a forum in which marketplace leaders with a healthy bottom line might provide financial assistance to promising "up-and-comers" in transformation. (While still in the planning stage, if there is anyone interested in the idea, please e-mail us – no commitments, just interest.)
Some resources you might like to look into:
Greg Pagh, Faith Beyond Belief and Enemies No More at http://christchurchotsego.org/resources.html. As mentioned above, these studies prepare and equip churches to be intentionally transformational.
Harvest Evangelism, http://www.transformourworld.org equipping church, government, business and education for transformation. They host global, national and regional conferences. Ed Silvoso is author of numerous books on transformation and is widely quoted in these Market 70 pages.
Disciple Nations Alliance, http://www.disciplenations.org/ with focus on equipping churches for world transformation.
Reclaiming the Seven Mountains, http://www.reclaim7mountains.com/ equipping people to become change agents in their sphere of influence (business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion).
The Sentinel Group, http://www.sentinelgroup.org/ dedicated to the task of preparing needy communities for spiritual revival and societal transformation. They are the source of many excellent documentaries on transformation.
Unashamedly Ethical, http://unashamedlyethical.com/Home/default.asp is a global movement transforming businesses and organizations through declaring and operating from ethical principles. It is a world-wide fellowship of people who are, unashamedly ethical
At Work On Purpose, http://www.atworkonpurpose.org/ While many of its services are local, the website has resources for business as ministry that can be used anywhere.
And of course, Market 70 desires to continue building into you and your organization through training, public speaking, intercession and consulting. http://www.market70.com/
Remember our definition of Transformation leadership? It is "moving an organization, its people and operations into God's big picture - His plans and purposes in an ever-widening sphere of influence, resulting in perfect alignment with God's eternal purpose." This final module in the Market 70 process is not a final step at all, but rather a continuation of the commitment you made months ago when you answered the Spirit's call on you and your organization. You have become a leader, chosen by God for such a time as this, to reclaim what He has redeemed.
Philippians 1:6 says, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Guess what the root word translated, "carry it on to completion" is. Yes, the same one from which the word teleois comes. God has been preparing and equipping you to this role of finishing, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, growing into adulthood, and maturing His Kingdom work."
We leave you with only one assignment, passed on from Jesus, whom we are to imitate:
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you... (Matthew 28:19-20).