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Transformation: A Change of Heart

Note: This is part one of a four-part series on the distinctives of transformational education, in which we explore four types of changes. These changes correspond to TeachBeyond’s four foundational principles and influence everything we do in our schools and classrooms.

“Look, I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:5[i]

When I was in university, I wasn’t a Christian. What I was good at, though, was sitting around with friends discussing how we could make the world a better place. There was a point when I realized that the only way to bring about all the ideals of a just society was to change human nature itself. The problem was that I wasn’t quite sure how to do this and I was pretty sure that no one else could do it either. In fact, when I looked closely enough, I saw my own inability to live up to how I wanted to be.

God has a design and purpose for the universe. Our purpose is to discover what this is and fit into it.  We are seeking a perspective that shows us how to align everything we do in our schools with His purpose and plan. This not only helps us set vision and direction but also helps motivate us by giving meaning and purpose to our work and lives. The common goal for every Christian ministry is to be part of God’s plan for the world.

So the obvious question is, “What is God’s plan for the world?” It can be understood in the context of the biblical narrative, which follows four basic themes but tells one story.

  • There is a God, who by His unimaginable wisdom and power, created everything perfect. He created our students, whom He made in His own image and endowed with great value.
  • Sin entered the world through rebellion causing separation from God. As a consequence, we live in a broken world where things are not as they were created to be. We see the impact of this in and on our students.
  • God provided a way to reconcile this broken relationship. Redemption is an actual transaction that takes place between God and Man when we receive Christ. We give our old life to Him and receive His new eternal life in return. This is possible because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, freeing us to become a new creation in Him.
  • Jesus works through us in restoring all things into right relationship with God. We help our students to overcome the ravishes of sin to live healthy lives and to fulfill their potential.

God’s purpose, then, is to make everything new. This can only be accomplished through a new relationship with the Creator. This understanding gives the transformational school the basis for everything it does.

In making everything new, God does not mean just an improved version of the old. Like the ‘new’ cereal that is exactly like the old but in a different box. Perhaps the best analogy we have of transformation is found in nature with the butterfly.

The butterfly starts as a worm. In its life cycle it is transformed into something entirely different. It no longer looks or acts like a worm … it is beautiful and it can fly. God isn’t trying to make a better worm.


We easily can fall into the trap of thinking that the ultimate goal of education is making our students better people though the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills. However, no amount of training or education will ever change them into what they were originally created to be. God does not want to make them into a better version of their old self … He wants to transform them. He wants to make them into an entirely new creation. This means a change of their very nature or a change at the heart of who they are.

We experience a transformation of the heart when we receive Christ. We become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are born again (1 Peter 1:23) to become children of God (John 1:12). We receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). We pass from death to life (Romans 6:4). We can know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

Transformational education has a different focus than other educational systems. It is built on the possibility of human nature being changed. At the heart of transformational education is the goal of revealing Christ to our students in word and action … facilitating a life-giving relationship. It is only in this way that each of our students can reach the potential that God had in mind when He created them. What joy to see our students fly.

I wish I had understood in college that a personal relationship with Jesus is the only way to find my true identity and to change the world. Our students should know this sooner.

Bob Adams
Educational Consultant
TeachBeyond Global

[i] Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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23 Feb 22
by Guest Author
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