When we think of “transformation” we often think of “change”, and when we think about “change” that’s when we sometimes begin to dig our heels in… Change isn’t something humans do easily!
Whilst it can seem like the two things are synonymous, and sometimes change is necessary for transformation to happen, the distinction is (to me) that where “change” is about going from one way of being directly to another as if where we are is in some way bad, “transformation” is about moving through from where we are to where we could be at our best.
It’s said that “The end of the World for a Caterpillar is a Butterfly.” The caterpillar isn’t inherently bad, but it equally it isn’t at the place where it will be all it can be. Transformation is about the journey through from where we are, to where we were always destined to be.
Transformation is about releasing what’s already there.
It’s about fulfilling potential.
Everything that a caterpillar needs to become a butterfly is in its DNA. A caterpillar can’t change that and decide that when it emerges from its chrysalis it will be a bird, nor can it deny the natural process of becoming that is going on inside.
As a Circuit we believe that equipping transformation is about helping our people and churches to recognise and release the potential within and become who they are destined to be. We can then help them to do the same for their communities.
Transformation is about us recognising and releasing the potential in everyone we meet.
Transformation is about the process as much as the result. It is difficult, but through the struggle the beauty is revealed, skills learned and resilience built.
Butterflies are often beautiful, but the process they go through to get there most definitely isn’t. Science tells us that they have all sorts of hormone spikes to encourage growth and change, shedding of skin, building of their chrysalis, the ingestion and digestion of themselves to make what’s been described as a “caterpillar soup”, and then ultimately a battle to get out of their chrysalis, during which their new form finds strength and builds its capacity for life on the outside.*
If a butterfly doesn’t have that final struggle with the chrysalis it can end up with under-developed and weak wings. That final little struggle and push brings more colour, life and mobility to the butterfly than anything that has gone before. But it’s worth it.
In that moment of struggle everything has been done that could be done by outside factors. At that point it is all up to the emerging butterfly.
It is the same for us as humans, but also as disciples and churches. It’s definitely the case in our communities too. We can help ourselves and others to identify who we are made to be; we can create the environment for growth; we can make sure there are food and resources for the “caterpillar”; we can celebrate the beauty of the “butterfly” and watch it spread its wings. The final transformation though has to come from within.
That’s what we hope to be able to do as we seek to Equip Transformation through God’s Love.
If you were on the journey from caterpillar to butterfly, I wonder where in the transformation process you are now?
If your church was on the journey from caterpillar to butterfly, I wonder where in the transformation process you are now?
This is our "Vision Blog" where we'll be working through what our vision is all about, sharing where it comes from, dreaming about what it looks like in practice, and sharing stories of our vision in action across the Circuit!