Moving from Undiscipled to Transformed

Imbi Medri-Kinnon —  January 16, 2012 — 7 Comments

This post is from Imbi Medri-Kinnon (though the title is from Bill).


Discipling / Catechesis, depending on your faith tradition, are words that are out of fashion. The church is seemingly into all things missional in this generation. (Even if “missional” means a hundred different things.)

Yesterday’s sermon reminded those of us gathered that indeed the Acts 1:8 call is to each of us – we ARE witnesses (because of the Holy Spirit in us).

But of what?

Substance has been an ongoing discussion in our household, and last week Kaili used a phrase and particular word that is still resonating – conversion is (necessarily) followed by TRANSFORMATION… Discipleship / Catechesis ….

What we are becoming matters!

I’ve been encouraged by various writers including Richard Foster, and the classic Oswald Chambers, but also John Stott, NT Wright and Dallas Willard among others who are calling us back to integrity, indeed transformation. And Christopher Wright who reminds us that we ARE disciples, before all else.

For far too long in the evangelical North American church, we have offered a form of cheap grace where simply saying the sinners prayer, or reciting the creed(s) on a Sunday morning is apparently enough. But 1/2 way around the world, in Kenya, the phrase ‘Christianity in this country is a mile wide and an inch deep’ came up several times in conversation with local brothers and sisters, suggesting that it is not just a localized phenomenon, but rather a generational issue.

Rich Mullins wrote one of my favorite song lines ever, saying “Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing, 
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine”
. What a rich image, summarizing such depth, (no pun intended). (Watch song. May need to go to 4:28 in on iPads, iPhones, etc.)

Roy Williams, quoting Christopher Isherwood, says relevance (does this matter?) and credibility (is it true?) are essential to actual communication with this generation. Persuasion follows.

Who are we persuading, and to what?

Does our relationship with Jesus matter? And is He real, in my / our life?

Discipleship / Catechesis — TRANSFORMATION — is necessary. And more than possible with the Spirit and seasoned believers invited to speak into our lives, on an on-going basis. Indeed transformation goes far beyond what we hear in sermons and say on Sunday mornings.

We are witnesses.

Without on-going transformation, we simply live out ‘a form of godliness’ in any number of ways, making us irrelevant and incredible to a world longing for truth and integrity …. about as ‘useless as a screendoor on a submarine’ ….

I know I need to be being transformed – especially on Monday mornings, not to mention Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday …

Imbi Medri-Kinnon


Imbi is a television producer and Managing Director of the company she co-founded with Bill Kinnon in 1984, Medri Kinnon Productions. She has a undergraduate degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University and a Master's in Theological Studies from the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. As well as being Bill's business partner, Imbi and Bill have been married since 1983 and have three adult children, Liam, Rylan & Kaili — of whom they are both very proud. Imbi has completed principal production on her documentary, Mind the Gap — Church Leadership in the 21st Century. Bill is working on the post-production of this project.

7 responses to Moving from Undiscipled to Transformed

  1. Words of life. Being transformed whenever it is now. Good Monday morning meditation. Thanks.

  2. Great post… one minor correction / enhancement
    Mullen’s song goes
    “Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing
    It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine”

    • I’ll make the fix for Imbi. Thanks, Michael. It was such a clear day today, I bet I could have seen you across the Lake.

  3. Thanks for the reminder Imbi, this ” In Christ ” mystery is to live your life in the context of that reality constantly…going and coming, awake and asleep…one submits life into the life of the teacher. It is the slow evolution of surrender to where my life becomes his. It does not matter the time, the day…the moment. Anyone looking sees Jesus.

  4. I’ve been struggling with this a lot for several years now.

    The Christian life calls me to come and believe a lot of things, but without those things necessarily having any affect on my lifestyle. So long as I live morally, there’s no real call to live ethically, despite the Gospel being inherently relational.

    As Christians, we often participate in programs and activities…angel tree, handing out turkeys to needy families at Thanksgiving, etc. but this mostly covers up for the fact that we do not, in general, lead lifestyles of giving and service, and when somebody says “giving and service”, the first thing that we think about is our money.

    And then our time…

    I suspect that in many cases, the thing is turned on it’s head. We are generally not pursuing (This may be a broad and incorrect stereotype, but it seems accurate here in the U.S.) deep relationships with fellow believers where we can truly be accountable and grow together. As a result, we do not have others to help reinforce our willingness to serve on a moment by moment basis…in the end, we all die and go to our final destination separately, and we tend to live that way on earth as well.

    But we don’t see this in the biblical narrative, and it’s never stated to us that we should live this way or expect this.

    There’s an entire line of thought currently that says that the reason Paul was having to raise money for the folks in Jerusalem was because they had all gone broke living in community in Acts. Which would seem to indicate that we do not, as a culture, have faith in God to take care of us while we are serving Him, and that we have to be pragmatic capitalists first, and then Spiritual servants.

    But if discipleship begins in the heart, then this will never produce fruit.


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