The Lift Project: Leading for Transformation: 1st Steps in Leading Change

The temptation in wanting to change the world is look at what the world needs to do to change, but the first step in changing the world is looking at how I need to change. That’s why I love the Lift Project, it challenges me to look deep inside myself and see what needs to change, and to see outside myself and seize the opportunities God provides to transform my life and the lives of others.

This past week started week 1 of Leading for Transformation. It’s the first course in the Lift Project, of which, I have taken 2 others and experienced transformation in my leadership. Eager for the class to begin it was exciting to see we were starting off with 2 articles to read and a virtual classroom that featured 4 videos to watch.

1st Article by Cally Parkinson took a closer look at REVEAL and even more the challenging question: Where are you? Not only only a key question from Genesis 3:9. In this case the REVEAL question looks at the spiritual continuum and how people move along that continuum.  The continuum has 4 segments and 3 movements.

2nd Article by Dallas Willard, Spiritual Formation as a Natural Part of Salvation, provides his challenge to see one’s faith relationship as more than a swap of sins for a Savior, of faith as being an entrance into heaven, but the entrance of heaven into life. Willard is a deep thinker and lays a solid foundation to renovate the heart. His article deepened my understanding of grace that not only brings one to justification, but to new life in Christ today. He challenges me to take 1st steps in leading change in my life to grow with Christ in order to lead others to travel that path as well.

Following up the 2 articles came the virtual classroom. That’s 4 videos 25 or so students interacting, and the Holy Spirit speaking powerfully into our lives. He is definitely the leader of transformation.

Video 1: VIM and Vigor

Mindy Caliguire and Dan Meyer introduce the class to the topic of transformation. Building on Dallas Willard’s observations, we begin with his concept of VIM and Vigor. VIM stands for Vision. Intention. Means. Vigor is a reminder to do so with great passion.

In the weeks ahead we will focus on 3 areas of transformation in our lives: The Leader’s Soul, Shaping  Culture , and the Strategies for Transformation. Having taken The Leader’s Soul class as well as Shaping Culture, I know the good stuff that lies ahead. Strategies for Transformation is next on my list after this one.

Video 2: Value of Culture

Lift classes are more than theory, they feature practitioners, those learning along the way. Dan Meyer not only offered the challenge to be willing to shape a culture of transformation, but the story of his church’s journey.

A key step in the journey was stepping into transparency. He had a great phrase, “dentures dropping out” transparency. We like to hide our messes, transparency calls us to be honest with the mess.

Shaping culture deals with atmosphere, relating to one another with transparency, and leadership intentionality.

Video 3: Strategy

I love strategy. Our upcoming look at strategy will look at the weekly gathering, one on one relationships, as well as individual strategy that leads to transformation.

Dan gave this great acronym to work through: STEP

Sight for the pathway.

Training for the Spirit

Equipment for life

Partners for the journey.

That’s part of the plus of Lift classes, it lays out those 1st steps for the individual and the strength of an outside group who bring their own experiences, their own journey to bear.

Video 4: Prioritization

This was the briefest of the 4 and simply laid out these 4 questions / these 4 challenges:

1. Begin by looking at yourself — what do you want in your relationship with Jesus?

2. What is our church doing with transformation?

3. Where could it go? (What a great question to dream and pray through!)

4. Start the work. What needs to be built in? What are the 1st steps in leading change?

What a great class to lead off with this fall. I am excited to see where God is leading us and how He continues to bring forth much growth in transforming lives to be like Jesus.

What first steps are you taking in leading change? Where are you learning to lead for transformation? I highly recommend one of those steps be a Lift Class!


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