Are you part of the 85% of Christians who are restless but mostly functional? I once was and it was exhausting.
Quite a few top Christian leaders have been quoted as making a similar statement to this; "I would be surprised to see 15% of the people I reached during my time in ministry when I get to heaven". This is a scary thought! Could this be the "luke-warm" which Jesus speaks of in the Bible?
I wondered if this could be accurate and looked at research which might indicate Christian's levels of belief by their engagement in the church. Unfortunately, the answers seemed to validate what those Christian leaders were alluding to. So, do we really believe what we say we believe? It doesn't seem so.
This realization has set us on a mission to help fellow Christians identify what may be holding them back from all that God has for them. A life of peace and joy!
Saint Augustine writes in his Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."
Do you know what it means to have rest in the Lord? We would like to share what we’ve learned with you.
The objective of the Transcend program is quite simply to help you find peace and joy. Not only so you can experience the fullness of God, but so that you can experience God more and carry out your God-given, God ordained calling, making a difference with your story. He placed a burning desire in you for this very thing.
I used to ask myself constantly; Why is it so hard to live out my Christian faith each day and why do I feel like I am living in a cycle of discontent?
The Bible speaks of a “peace which transcends all understanding” in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Let’s be honest, peace of any kind would be welcomed in today’s world, let alone, one so rich that we can’t even make sense of it. The opposite of peace is anxiety, which is where most of us have seemingly resolved to set up camp these days. Any more, it’s perceived as cool to have a jam-packed schedule and spread ourselves as thin as possible in busyness. At least, this is what we’ve picked up from the world along the way. But, is this life of constant tension and anxiety slowly chipping away at us and causing irreparable character level damage? Could this be why it’s so hard to consistently live out a Christian faith in the world today?
We have access to more information than ever before and this is keeping us from being able to accurately process what is beneficial from what is actually doing harm. The very foundations of our worldview are shifting every day through the media we consume, and the relationships we maintain. The great majority of what we are taking in is only amplifying the conflict in our hearts. It is for this reason that we can forget a great sermon from Sunday by the time we get to work on Monday and struggle to actually live out what we say we believe in. If you are anything like me, you might not even make it out of the church parking lot before finding yourself in a place of anxiety again. Good-bye “transcending peace within”!
Whether you are a seasoned Christian, a non-believer or new to faith, you have undoubtedly been let down and hurt by those around you as a result of these character flaws. The impact is even worse when those hurts come from inside the church or even inside your family. It is also likely that you have let yourself and others down at times, creating some hurts of your own along the way. These hurts also create disconnect which causes us all to sometimes act outside of what we know is right.
At IMG, we believe you have to slow down for a moment and scratch below the surface in order to really see the causes of this discontent. It all begins with what we see and hear, and how we then process these things in our minds. What goes on in our minds then effects our emotions and can completely change our hearts. Eventually, our emotions cause us to act on things, and sometimes these actions don’t really align with what we believe is right. It only takes a little anxiety to sway our our actions and as this happens enough, we can find ourselves living in a cycle of restlessness and discontent which so many describe themselves as feeling today.
These feelings of unrest and discontent are creating conflict between how we want to live and how we act instead. The conflict is quietly wreaking havoc on our internal lives over time. We haven’t paid it enough attention before because the world has each of us more distracted than ever with its furious pace. So we continue the cycle of trying to do our best for a stretch and then falling again when the pressure mounts. Nearly every person we meet with has talked about struggling with this cycle in their lives and their unsuccessful efforts to conquer it.
The goal of the IMG Transcend program is to walk alongside those who find themselves in this place of conflict and help them move from the struggles of unrest and discontent to a life that truly honors God, starting with them and moving into their marriage, family, relationships, workplaces, communities and begins to change the world. A life which is filled with the “peace which transcends all understanding”. If any of this resonates with you, we would like to invest in your story next! At IMG, we are trying to change the world, one story at a time by helping people like you realize your significance and purpose in God’s story.
The Transcend program is designed to start with truly defining our worldview by slowing down and asking the big questions about origin and purpose through the lens of the Bible story, and looking at just how far the world has strayed from truth over the course of history. Once we have solidified our worldview, we can begin to process things through this filter, instead of allowing media and relationships to define our truths. When we reverse this way of processing information, it allows us to see the bigger picture and live for something greater than ourselves. This new way of processing quite literally allows us to renew our minds as we are told to do in Romans 12:2. Science now supports this concept, known as neuroplastisity.
Once we’ve explored the big questions in God’s story and have some established guardrails for processing information, we take the time to explore the events which have shaped your specific story. We do this by briefly looking back with this new perspective and then discussing “A New Way Forward”. We address the lies we’ve come to believe as a result of our hurts, against what scripture has to say about them and discover a way to finally leave those hurts in the past. Our focus takes aim at the lies which often cloud our mind and the hurts which have affected our hearts. These are the areas which influence our actions most and our hope is to close the gap between what we truly believe and how we live our lives.
The next part of exploring your story is discovering your unique design and purpose by completing a few self assessments. A review of these areas can lead to a better understanding of who God made you to be and should even instigate some fresh new dreams for your future. We do this to prepare for you for the next chapters of your story and we feel certain they can be your best.
At this point we will have equipped you with several tools that will help you navigate the days ahead and avoid getting back in the cycle of discontent. All of the tools, the dialogue, the prayer and the work have been mounting for one specific purpose though.
The final part of the Transcend program is to take these new discoveries, which help form an authentic conversation with God and go out into nature with no other distractions and seek to encounter Him. We promise He will meet you there as he has done for us and so many others. Jesus often went away to secluded places to spend time with the Father and He is the model for all we do. If you’re willing to let Him in, He will minister to you in a way that only He can. Everything we did together was to help facilitate this moment between you and your Heavenly Father and increase your faith. This and only this can provide you with a “peace which transcends all understanding”, allowing you to live a life that is fulfilling. Will you let us invest in your story next?