By Diane Reynolds
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
Are you being transformed? I want to be transformed. I long to be transformed. I pray and plead to be transformed. Looking back on my life, I certainly see the work the Spirit has done in me, so why do I doubt that more change awaits me? Yet, I do doubt and am always looking for new ways to put myself in a place where the transforming power of God can work in me.
My invitation to join a Mission Alive Discipleship Cohort came with some pressure. Of course, I had a choice, but it would be awkward to refuse the invitation, so I willingly enrolled.
I began the Discipleship Cohort like I do most things that are meant to help or change us, with a great deal of skepticism. I was going to meet on Zoom with five other people, none of whom I knew, and talk about personal and spiritual things. This did not seem like a recipe for deep, meaningful change, but I was in for a surprise.
Despite my skeptical personality, I committed myself to the process from the beginning. I would do the homework, test the ideas, and lean into the personalities. I was surprised to enjoy the first session. I admit to holding back a bit; my story was not nearly as transparent as others. Honored by the honesty and trust, I was immediately committed to protect and support them. I was no longer just in this for me.
Very quickly, the group seemed familiar and safe. A place where personal things could be safely shared. A place of encouragement and thoughtful input, but also a place of hard questions that required soul searching and brutal self-honestly. A place of accountability where each person shares their spiritual goals for the week with the expectation that someone would inquire as to their results.
For most of my life, there has been a deep longing to know God, to hear God, to experience God with all my being. But my fellowship, dedicated to scholarship and trusting only in tangible things, had discouraged my quest for emotional and spiritual experiences as part of my faith journey. When the leader of my cohort began to speak of mystical things, mysteries unsolvable by human knowledge and experiences beyond understanding or explanation, I was intrigued.
Working through the weekly assignments with a renewed confidence that God had much to teach me and reveal to me, I began to find new peace and joy in my prayer and scripture reading. The suggestions for new ways to pray, interact with scripture, and listen for the voice of God were welcome, and I was eager to try them all.
It is not easy; the questions posed are challenging. If taken seriously, they require soul searching. But herein lies the path to spiritual transformation.
Mentoring, or discipling, others does not come easily to many of us. While we may have the love and commitment required, we might lack the skills. The Mission Alive Discipleship Cohort is a tried and true process that is easily learned and replicated. If a person commits to work the process, they will experience change. But, more importantly, each participant will be exposed to a process that is easily replicated.
If you long for continued spiritual growth, I encourage you to try a Mission Alive Discipleship Cohort.
V.P. of Finance
Mission Alive is one of our sponsors this month. We appreciate their support. We have an ad on the right side of this site to point you to the good work with discipleship and church planting Mission Alive is doing. I hope you will click that link or the one in this article to check out what they are doing!