Embracing disruption : equipping the church to embrace disruption as a catalyst for spiritual transformation
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In my early years as a minister, I noticed a connection between disruption and spiritual transformation. “Disruption” describes those events and circumstances that force individuals to move outside of their comfort zones, routines, or habits. These situations often lead to new perspectives that help them ask new questions about the world around them. For me, three specific instances of disruption had particular importance when I served as a young minister. These disruptions included a woman with a mental illness, a church member with a cancer diagnosis, and a friend struggling with depression. These three experiences helped me understand how to approach other disruptive circumstances and be attentive to the ways God was at work. Disruption can lead to life-changing spiritual transformations. However, not all people who experience disruption also experience transformation in a positive way. Why is this so? What is the connection between disruptive moments and an individual’s capacity for profound spiritual transformation and renewal? These questions have guided my research and my effort to determine how church leaders can equip their communities to embrace disruption as a catalyst for spiritual transformation. I began by researching how various scholars and theologians have addressed the topic of disruption. I also looked at how God often worked through disruptive moments in scripture to bring about God’s purposes in the world. This led me to start a project to help church members intentionally move towards disruptive places as a means of spiritual transformation. What I discovered, however, was that my plans would be disrupted in an unprecedented way. This project and the global pandemic of 2020 forced me to embrace my own disruptive journey. This journey would challenge me in significant ways but would lead to profound personal spiritual transformation.