Transformation Happens One Step at a Time

By Lis Van Harten

(First appeared in the September 2006 issue of Ministry Reports to Classes and Councils.)

It’s important to have goals. They give us something to work towards. The ultimate goal of CRCNA ministries is to transform lives and communities worldwide. Now that’s a goal! How do we even begin to tackle a goal as grand as this? One step at a time.

SPE focuses on pastors who have a key role in the life of the church and its members. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, pastors nurture and guide transformation in the lives of their parishioners. But where do the pastors experience transformation?

One place that more and more CRC pastors are experiencing transformation is in a peer learning group. These small groups meet together for one year. They choose a topic to study, possibly attend a conference together, and enjoy much needed support and fellowship.

The feedback we receive from pastors testifies that transformation is taking place. Here’s one example:
I did not initially wish to join this group for various reasons. This past year was a culmination of a clearing process that took place within me and which drove me out of my forest of hardwoods and placed me into the soft hearts of holy men for the very first time in my life. Our gatherings were much more than educational trips into the depths of theology and thinking and all of the mental processing that goes on to get there. I was permitted (I was encouraged!) to grow in my ministry by sharing myself ... and in that releasing effort to become more of what God always wanted me to be ... because godly men wanted me to be that way ... maybe not even knowing where they were leading me. But we got there together ... and with the grace of God taking us there. – Dick Oberg