I often get asked by people outside of the Fort McMurray Alliance Church family, what the three tag words: “Life. Transformation. Adventure.” mean as we use them to describe our church family.
Well first off they just create an image that makes church sound just a little bit different than what you may have expected. There’s an excitement to those three words together that we believe captures the thrill of what it means to follow Jesus. They express a vision for the Christian life that is neither boring nor irrelevant.
Sure, the impact of these words do vary depending on where you are at on your spiritual journey. Whether you’re checking out Christ for the first time or living full out for him, they may hit you in different ways. We’re okay that these words impact people in different ways at different times. That’s the reality of our journey with Christ, it’s not static.
At the same time each of the words can stand on their own, describing an aspect of the Christian life, where one aspect of the Christian journey leads to the next. So the three words can also be seen as a progression. Again the emphasis is that they “can be seen this way”, but don’t have to be seen this way.
So as a progression when we look at these words, we’re thinking that …
Life is simply the invigorating experience that comes from following Jesus. It goes far beyond typical human existence, to moving into an experience of the life we deeply yearn for, an experience of life that gets lived to the fullest with the promise that this rich experience of life is eternal, and will become fully experienced come eternity. The promise is, what can be experienced now, sweet as it can become, is only a foretaste of what is to come. Jesus put it this way “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:0, NIV) In other words, we can begin to experience eternal life now! We can experience a bit of heaven, now.
This “life” is made possible through Jesus’ death on the cross, so that “the life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV)
Transformation is what happens as we allow Jesus to fill and empower us with his life-giving Holy Spirit. The gift of life increasingly transforms us into the image of God. We don’t stay the same! We change! We live and love more and more like Jesus. This happens as we daily make the decision to surrender our lives to God’s transforming work in us. The Apostle Paul writes: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2, NIV)
Adventure describes what the Christian life becomes when God infuses us with the gift of his life and transforms us as we surrender to the empowering work of his Holy Spirit. Our lives then become all about being a part of God’s mission to restore the world one life at a time, one part of society at a time. We learn what it means to live for the sake of seeing “God’s kingdom come, God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) There is absolutely nothing more exciting and fulfilling than being a part of God’s mission to see lives restored and society redeemed, as we await the return of Christ to establish what the Apostle John calls “the new heaven and the new earth.” (Revelation 21:1)
Life. Transformation. Adventure. It’s not a safe way to live. But it’s only way to truly live!
Okay the picture at the top of Tyson Knelsen from our church community and the video below may be what you had really wished “Life. Passion. Adventure.” were all about. But hey, I suspect what our God has in mind just might include some of that as well. I suspect that spark in so many of us to live life just a bit out on the edge comes from being made in the image an adventurous God.
Life. Transformation. Adventure. What it really means to follow Jesus.