Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Transformation and Imagination

From Jon Hirst:

There is a lot of talk about transformation these days. It speaks to the yearning in believer around the world to go beyond head knowledge or behavioral adjustments to a deep and lasting change that allows us to be incarnational in our ministry to others.

But where does transformation begin? What launches transformation in our hearts? I was reading a post in the Lausanne Global Conversation from a friend of mine, Pauline Hoggarth, and she hit on this very question.

In her post about the ongoing Ephesians study that will be central to the Cape Town 2010 event, she said, “…metaphors function at the level of our imagination and it’s in our imagination that the process of transformation begins. Our imagination engages the cogs of our will to bring about transformed behaviour and attitudes.”

She was talking about the use of metaphors in Ephesians and the power they have to engage us and transform us. I had never thought of how our imagination is where the first stirrings of transformation are found but it rings very true.

Think about it . . . as you go about your Christian walk, there are moments when God stirs in you a new idea or understanding of Him and what obedience looks like. Your imagination propels you forward to consider the idea further and then to act on it.

But capturing the imagination is not something we often focus on in evangelism and discipleship is it? We have tended to focus on propositions and ideas or on emotions and fears. What would it look like if you strived to capture people’s imaginations in order to launch them into transformation?

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3 comments:

Jake said...

"But where does transformation BEGIN? What LAUNCHES transformation in our hearts?" Is this to mean that the spark to ignite the transformation is our imagination, rather than the Spirit of God in our lives? Or is this encouraging us to pursue imagination as an initial, and arguable crucial, way to act on the Spirit's promptings. I'm just seeking clarification, not criticizing in any way.

Warrick Farah said...

Jake, that's a good question. Perhaps there is a both/and answer here? I definitley don't have it figured out, but maybe the spark in the imagination is the HS? What do you think?

Jake said...

I would lean more toward attributing the spark in the imagination to the Holy Spirit, who would be the beginning launching the transformation in our hearts. I do not think that we have the ability apart from the Holy Spirit to somehow conjure up this spark.