Transformed Life is based around a particularly successful teaching series that the Transformed Life author Dave Smith, road-tested with KingsGate Community Church.
As a Senior Pastor, Dave has become more and more aware that questions concerning identity, belonging and purpose are key for everyone. When we do not clearly understand who we are in Christ, which connects us to our purpose, all other areas of our spiritual growth are undermined.
After completing Transformed Life at Kingsgate Community Church, here is what Dave had to say about their experiences:
What makes this new church programme special?
Transformed Life, like 40 Days with Jesus before it, provides materials that are accessible for individuals and churches to use, based on the principle of everyone focusing on the same topic over a short season through multiple forms of learning – weekend teaching, small group online videos and discussions, daily readings and weekly memory verses. Other authors have also advocated the power of a short, intense, all-church spiritual growth season.
Why did you focus on Ephesians 1–3?
Partly because it’s so good! Ephesians as a whole has been described as ‘the divinest composition of man’ (S.T. Coleridge), the ‘crown of St. Paul’s writings’ (J. Armitage Robinson) and it has been claimed that only Romans could match Ephesians ‘as a candidate for exercising the most influence on Christian thought and spirituality’ (Raymond Brown). However, the main reason is that Ephesians 1–3, in particular, is especially strong in the whole issue of identity formation where the ‘in Christ’ theme is so prominent.
How does it influence church life when the whole church, including different groups covering all ages, work through the same subject?
It helps bring a great sense of focus and togetherness. At KingsGate we often hear of wonderful conversations between parents and children, with each spurring one another on as they look at similar but age-related materials.
What was the best or most beneficial result that you witnessed as a pastor doing Transformed Life in your church?
Aside from the long-term transformational effect in the lives of individuals, which is central but hard to measure, the most tangible result would be many more people joining existing or new small groups, many of whom have continued to connect together in those forums.
Why would you recommend other churches to embark on Transformed Life?
I would recommend churches to incorporate Transformed Life into their church life for 8 weeks because…
- The subject matter is very relevant – questions of IDENTITY, BELONGING and PURPOSE are so huge that from a pastoral perspective it is vital that we help equip people in these areas
- The overall effect unifies the church around one topic, encouraging a season of intensified spiritual growth
- The opportunity to increase your small group membership and help gather in 'fringe people' is huge
- The road-tested resources help enable busy church leaders to equip their congregations*
* One of the most frequent comments from our previous church programme, 40 Days with Jesus (www.40days.info), is that pastors have appreciated being able to use or adapt the free sermon notes, which is why we have also included them for Transformed Life.
About Dave Smith
Dave Smith has been called one of the most inspirational Christian leaders in the UK today and is Senior Pastor at KingsGate Community Church in Peterborough, Cambridge and Leicester. He became a Christian whilst studying at Oxford University and went on to complete a Doctorate. He and his wife Karen planted KingsGate in 1988, a lively and thriving church which has obtained national profile on Songs of Praise and BBC Radio 1.
Dave has also written the best-selling 40 Days with Jesus (Farnham: CWR, 2014), which is a post-Easter resource that invites you to actively explore the accounts of the risen Jesus. For more information on this excellent resource, visit www.40days.info