October was a busy and invigorating month for pastors Steve DeNeff and David Drury. They presented SoulShift: The Measure of a Life Transformed to over 900 pastors and laity in Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and California. The tour, sponsored by Wesleyan Publishing House (WPH), attracted church leaders from across denominational lines, providing an inside look at the spiritual formation journey that College Wesleyan Church has followed this past year.

DeNeff and Drury developed SoulShift as an accessible way to help the church understand God’s desire to change how his people live by changing who they are. Through searching the Gospels, DeNeff and Drury indentified seven “shifts” of understanding that are helping believers grasp what it means to be disciples. Rather than the characteristic, performance-driven spirituality that can be the default in many congregations, the pastors called churches to focus upon outcome—the characteristics and perceptions of a life lived like Christ. Says DeNeff, “When you take the message of holiness out of the gospel, you are left with a gospel of sin-management.”

The response was compelling. Leaders were not only grateful for the resources to equip, but also personally challenged and renewed to engage in this vitally important ministry of spiritual transformation. Based upon the evaluation from attendees,

  • nine in ten said that the conference was very valuable for their own ministries;
  • two-thirds responded that Soul Shift was going to be very helpful in developing a Spiritual Formation strategy for their own churches; and
  • over 90% of those attending indicated a decision to use SoulShift as either a church-wide event or in their small group ministries.

In addition to the book, WPH introduced on the tour the SoulShift Church Resource Kit, which was also very well received. The kit equips pastors and leaders with all of the tools and strategic resources needed to launch an eight-week, church-wide SoulShift journey, from the smallest congregations to the largest.

Jim Dunn, Director of Spiritual Formation for The Wesleyan Church, sums up the spirit behind the new ministry to local churches: “I was impressed by the motive of this resource most of all. It is all about assisting local churches in realizing that our life with and activity for Christ must come from a perspective of love, not dutiful obedience. We do not do this out of obligation, but an ongoing, deepening relationship of love.”

If you would like to learn more about how you can bring new transformation to your church, go to www.oursoulshift.com.