The Timeline of Transformation

by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith

So you’ve decided to begin a new ministry in an established organization. You have high hopes that God will do wonderful things. As you unpack your things in your new office, it helps to know that in every new ministry there are five phases to the transformation process.

Phase 1: Enthusiasm and Trepidation. This is true of both the people you serve and in your heart as well. As a deacon once told me when I started at a new church as senior pastor; “Choosing a new pastor is like buying a sack of cats. You don’t know what you’re getting until you get to know them.”

As you connect to people, there are few big changes happening. Its a time of growing and learning for all involved.

Phase 2: Realization. As time passes, changes begin to appear. With each new change, individuals inside the ministry begin to make choices as well. Some will long to return to the past methods or question why you were chosen. A few will also suggest that a new leader be chosen.

While you meet some resistance, you also need to know that the reason God placed you in this new position is to bring about the transformation He so longs to see in the people you now serve. Some of your opposition will be satanic. Review Solomon’s assumption of power (1 Kings 1-2) for an understanding of the principle of consolidating your leadership quickly.  These can be difficult days unless you focus on the new leaders that God is raising up and the new excitement in the established leaders around you.

Phase 3: New Core Forms. Through your faithfulness and God’s favor, a new core of leaders begins to form. This will include the excited established leadership as well as those men and women whom God has touched and gifted to follow your vision.

The transformation of your ministry comes because some people are ‘promoted’ to glory while others leave because your vision and theirs don’t mesh. Momentum begins to happen as more people are attracted to the fresh dream of God and more trained leaders step up. This is actually the ‘tipping point’ in your ministry. It leads to the next phase.

Phase 4: Fresh Growth. Each new leader brings new spheres of activity, touching new people. With those new people come new directions. Each direction adds new excitement. This type of excitement brings new challenges … and with each new challenge comes fresh faces and new lives touched by the Spirit of God.

Such growth is electrifying. God seems to be working in so many places. Problems are overcome with more victories. Each victory brings new hope. The harvest of your faithfulness begins to overflow. Trust in your leadership continues to grow and you experience …

Phase 5: Greater Growth. Ultimately, the steps which you took to start this ministry harvest have been continued and refined, yielding even greater results. Your leadership team has grown and changed, procedures have been adapted and adopted, all resulting in valuable experience. This translates into further possibilities.

Transformation is a process of hard work and faithfulness. The eagle leader enjoys the harvest of their strategic leadership through the phases of transformation.

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