Tag Archives: truth

Transformation turns you inside out; outside in

Meditate on Ephesians 4:17-28

This is a message I spoke to community development staff in Uganda in November 1998.

As an evaluator I search for truth. As a facilitator I help others search for truth, accept truth, live by truth.

In searching for truth, you need to watch out for lies, especially clever lies. In the restaurant at Laston Hotel in Masaka there is a poster that says:

Pilsner Lager
Extra Strong
It’s got what you want

This poster tells a lie. A lie that is believed as true by many. Those who live by this lie cause harm and destruction to others and themselves. In my own family I have seen the harm and destruction that addiction to alcohol can cause. If this poster were to tell the truth, it might look like this:

Pilsner Lager
Extra Strong
If you want to cause harm and destruction to yourself and others,
It’s got what you want

Now hear the word of the Lord: Ephesians 4:17-28

Verse 28 describes the fundamental indicator for transformational development. The person who steals is to stop stealing. Not only that, the person is to produce useful things with his or her own hands, that he or she might share them with others. This is transformation, from stealing to gratify the self, to being productive on behalf of others.

This passage describes the key to planning development programs that are transformational, not just enhancements to living in the world. This passage describes the key to planning programs that will inspire hope for those who are in despair. It describes the key to bringing joy to those who are in very difficult circumstances. Transformational development is based on the truth as it is taught by Jesus.

To understand the truth that is in Jesus, we need to face the fact that each and every one of us in a sinner. As told in the early chapters of Genesis, we have inherited the tendency to act as if we are God rather than being a child of God. God, the omnipotent, loving Creator of all there is, was, and ever will be, allowed us the freedom to disobey, while longing deeply that we would not disobey. But we did, and so we are sinners.

The truth that is in Jesus is that God, through boundless grace, invites us as sinners to be in His presence as forgiven sinners. If we accept this invitation, if we turn our backs on the deceitful ways of the world, we can live in God’s emerging kingdom right now. Cleansed, purified, made new in attitudes of mind, free to put on a new self, free to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Free to stop stealing, free to work with our hands to make something useful so that we can share it with others. Free to turn inside out and outside in, free to say “no” to the lies all around us, free to live by the truth that is in Jesus

Spiritual truth releases possibility

“Spiritual truth is learned by atmosphere, not by intellectual reasoning. God’s spirit alters the atmosphere of the way of looking at things, and things begin to be possible which never were possible before (Oswald Chambers, My utmost for his highest, 1935, 1963, p. 286).”

During any evaluation exercise we discern true conclusions supported by the evaluation evidence. Based on those conclusions we may recommend program changes for better effectiveness and efficiency. In transformative evaluation (TE) is our task now finished? Not unless we have prayerfully asked: What wonderful thing now appears possible through this program?

TE does not just report signs of individual and social transformation apparent from past program implementation. It looks toward the future to anticipate potential good that can emerge as God continues to work through this program. TE does not leave the program as it was when the evaluation exercise began. Some staff will see and hear different possibilities for encouraging transformation. Other stakeholders may consider new directions in their relationship with transformational development. Regardless, my prayer is that TE brings people closer to God.


Evaluation as Discernment of Truth

A most difficult challenge facing the Christian program evaluator is reconciling truth as defined in scripture with truth as defined by secular evaluators. The way you answer this challenge will greatly influence the way you plan and implement program evaluations.

In this brief paper I show my answer to this challenge by analyzing my original secular definition of program evaluation years ago from a scriptural perspective. Let’s talk!

Click this link → Program Evaluation as Discernment of Truth

Frame for a Christian worldview

The Christian approach to any field of knowledge needs to be both critical and constructive: “we must identify and critique the dominant intellectual idols, and then construct biblically based alternatives (Pearcey, 2005, p. 42).” Take heed, Christian evaluators, and take action!

Pearcey describes a frame for building a Christian worldview (Pearcey, 2005, pp. 44-49). The frame is based on three turning points in biblical history plus the way forward. This post introduces the frame that is guiding my development of a theory for transformative evaluation.  Click here →  WorldviewFrame

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