Why Do You Do What You Do?

I’m often asked by Christian leaders and guests who experience Transformation Church, “Why do you do what you do?” “What drives your ministry philosophy?”

In interview fashion, I will give the reasons for our ministry philosophy. I have two goals for this blog:

To help us pastors and leaders lead our local congregations by casting and implementing a God-sized vision and explaining how that vision should drive the church’s ministry philosophy.

To answer the question, ““Why do you do what you do?”




The vision of Transformation Church is this: We are a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community that loves God completely (Upward), ourselves correctly (Inward), and our neighbors compassionately (Outward).

The vision of Transformation Church is birthed out of two of Jesus’ greatest statements: the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39).




Transformation Church is a multi-ethnic local church because we don’t have the option not to be. And neither does any other local church, if ethnic diversity is possible.

Jesus said in the Great Commission to “go make disciples of all nations (ethnic groups)”. Different ethnic groups are not just overseas; they’re across the street. As missionaries, we have ministry models that are contextualized to our missionary sphere of influence to reach the ethnically diverse people in our context.

  • Currently, in America, over 93% of local churches are homogenous (not ethnically diverse) 
  • Local churches in America are 10 times more segregated than schools in the same area 
  • Local churches in America are 20 times more segregated than the neighborhoods they are located in. 

Biblically, we believe every local church should desire, and be intentional about being faithful to, fulfilling the Great Commission, internationally and locally. The early churches in the book of Acts were multi-ethnic; the Apostle Paul’s entire ministry was about intentionally creating multi-ethnic local churches (Eph. 2:11-22; Eph. 3:1-13). Besides, the New Heavens and New Earth will be a multi-ethnic congregation (Revelation 5:9)! The local church can be an appetizer of what is to come for all eternity.

For more information on this topic, click here for a recent interview I did with my friend Trevin Wax on the multi-ethnic church.




Teens are not the church of tomorrow. They’re the church of today! God has used teenagers for thousands of years to do incredible things! We believe He still does. We’ve seen God do amazing things through teens in incredible ways at Transformation Church. We have two teens on staff! God is raising up amazing leaders from among our teens.

After 5th grade, kids worship with adults, serve in ministry with – and even lead – adults in vital ministries at TC. Research shows that teens who serve in their local church and attend worship with adults are more likely to have a strong faith in college (See Sticky Faith by Chap Clark & Kara Powell).

On Sunday nights, our teens meet in small groups led by adults to discuss the sermon questions.

Our multi-generational vision even determines how we do our small-group ministry. Our small groups are also multi-ethnic and multi-generational. We want singles, men, women, divorced, twenty-something’s, teens, and marrieds to cross-pollinate in community together. Therefore, we don’t have affinity groups.




To be mission-shaped means that TC is joining God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit on mission. First, the Father sent His Son on mission (Luke 19:10). Then the Father and Son sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). Now the Father, the Son, and the Spirit fill, empower, and send the Church on mission.

In two years, over 1000 people have committed their lives to Jesus and His Kingdom through the ministry of TC. The Transformers believe they’re missionaries. They connect with, love on, and share the Gospel in word and deed with their lost family and friends, and invite them to TC.

“Missions” is who we are locally, and through our international efforts as well.



When Jesus was asked, “What is the most important commandment?” He said we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). This is the Jewish Shema (Deut. 6:4-9 & Lev. 18:19).

Notice the progression: love God (Upward), love yourself (Inward), love your neighbor (Outward).

Therefore, the goal of discipleship at Transformation Church is to join the Holy Spirit in creating Jesus look-alikes who grow in “Upward, Inward, Outward.”

Click this link where I give a little more detail on video.

Pastors, develop a Christ-exalting vision and let it drive your ministry. We’re in this together!

Marinate on that,

Pastor Derwin

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Derwin Gray
Derwin L. Gray is the founding and Lead Pastor of Transformation Church (www.tc521.org), a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community in Indian Land, South Carolina, just south of Charlotte, North Carolina. Transformation Church was recognized as one of the 15 fastest growing churches in America for 2010 by Outreach Magazine. Gray is the author of "Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future" and is a highly sought-after communicator. Connect with Derwin on twitter @Derwinlgray.