Yesterday I was interviewing prospective students for our courses. It is always such a privilege to get a glimpse of what God is doing in people’s lives as they talk about their calling and passion for children and young people. So often you hear stories of transformation, of journeys, of struggles, of overcoming. When I listen I am reminded of this insight which I have found so helpful and which underpins our approach to formation for ministry – changed being is so much more powerful and profound as a concept for me than changed behaviour. Sometimes changed behaviour can be an outward change which isn’t matched by what happens inside as we strive to live up to the expectations of others. I was blessed by the six unique individuals who joined us today and hope that their experience will help them on their own personal journey of formation and transformation.
Although some contemporary writers speak of this as a journey toward Christlikeness, I prefer to describe it as an increase of Christ-consciousness. Too easily becoming like Christ gets reduced to changed behavior. Genuine transformation involves something much deeper: changed being. It is taking on the mind and heart of Christ and consequently living with the awareness that we participate in the life of God without any loss of our uniqueness. this is the destiny of all humans. It is the Word of God made flesh and enlightening everyone who comes into the world (John 1.9).
Reference David G Benner Spirituality and the Awakening Self Grand Rapids Brazos 2012 p69