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for the curious about life and leading others

Leading People Through Life Change

Jared Kirkwood

Every story is comprised of 3 parts: beginning, middle, and the end.I would add that stories of life transformation consist of the same 3, but with a different perspective.

  • Orientation: the way things are. Based on your past experiences and current life circumstances, this is how you see the world.
  • Disorientation: the conflict. When our perspective is challenged by a new way of thinking.
  • New orientation: the new normal. This is the outcome, the product, of our former understanding of life and God's presence in our life.

Saul's conversion in the book of Acts is a perfect example. His orientation began as a zealot out to stop Christianity, killing all Jesus followers that got in his way. But on the road to Damascus he is knocked off his horse, has an encounter with Jesus, and loses sight for 3 days. Then he is led to the house of Ananias for another few days where he strength is restored. This experience of disorientation was critical for Saul to become "the voice to the Gentiles." Once he is able, Paul emerges a new man with a new orientation. And immediately he begins to tell his story.

Disorientation is the critical period when the foundation of our new orientation is built. The more intentional work we do in the disorientation season, the stronger the new orientation will be.

Think of what was going on through Saul's mind. He came face to face with Jesus, he lost sight for 3 days, and was restored in the home of the very people he vowed to persecute. I can only imagine the depth of their conversations during those days. It is here Paul is equipped to begin his new life. This is an incredible story of life transformation.

We all have this story. Maybe not quite as dramatic, but I believe that every person who has come in contact with Jesus has a story of the blind receiving sight, the lame being able to walk, and the dead coming back to life.

How are you leading students into a season of disorientation? Taking them to a place where they are confronted with the love, compassion, and power of Jesus? The closer you walk with them during this time, the stronger their new orientation will be. And they will be eager to emerge and share their story.