Archives For Derwin Gray

Mike Brown, an unarmed 18 year-old, black teenager was recently shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.

This is a sad, horrific, and an all too familiar ugly story.


We don’t know all the details of what went down in Ferguson, but what we do know is that black evangelicals and white evangelicals interpret these types of situations very differently.

What if black and white evangelicals attended multi-ethnic churches instead of segregated ones?

If this Christ-exalting life were to become our reality, we could address racism, oppression, and injustice together.

What if black and white evangelicals and other evangelical ethnicities shared life with each other in a local church community and heard each other’s stories and walked in each other’s shoes?

If this Christ-exalting life were to become our reality, I believe our suspicions and mistrust of one another would be abandoned and replaced with love for one another.


Sadly, only 13.7% of Evangelical churches in America are multi-ethnic. And according to Drs. Michael Emerson and Gerardo Marti in their article, “The Rise of the Diversity Expert,” many multi-ethnic, local…

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PlatformPastor, words like “platform” and “influence” are important.

But if we aren’t careful, in our desire to build our platform and influence, we can end up building our EGO.

As leadership gurus Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges say, “EGO stands for ‘Edging God Out’.”


Instead of building your platform, focus more on building your character.

According to the Apostle Paul, the qualifications to be an elder-pastor are about character, not gifting.

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace,…

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ClassroomIn the American educational system, from first grade all the way up through high school, we’re taught to memorize INFORMATION, and then take a test. If we pass the intellectual test, then we move on to the next grade.

We’ve transferred this learning pattern to Christianity. We’re trained to learn Bible concepts, principles and doctrines intellectually. And the more Biblical information we know, the greater disciples we are deemed to be.

I think this is killing the church in America, just like it hurt the Pharisees.

Let’s remember that the Pharisees, an elite group of well-educated men in Israel, knew the Scriptures, but they missed the main point of the Scriptures: to KNOW Jesus personally and intimately (Phil. 3:5-11).

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me!” John 5:39 NLT
Knowing the Bible doesn’t give us eternal life. Knowing Jesus does (John 17:3). Some people love the Bible more than they love Jesus.


I’m all for learning about Jesus and the Christian faith. I have a Master’s of Divinity with a Concentration in Apologetics (Magnum Cum Laude). I’m currently pursuing my Doctorate of Ministry with…

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Discipleship Is

Biblical, Jesus-empowered, Gospel-centered, grace-infused discipleship transforms a person’s mind and emotions. This beautiful, God the Holy Spirit-enabled act results in a life that progressively reflects Jesus.

I graduated Magnum Cum Laude with a Masters of Divinity Degree, with a concentration in Apologetics, from Southern Evangelical Seminary under Norm L. Geisler, Ph.D.

I am currently a doctoral student at Northern Seminary under Scott McKnight, Ph.D. My doctoral emphasis is the ‘New Testament in Context.’

I share this with you not impress you, but to you let you know that I value the life of the mind.

I am a full-fledged, card-carrying theology nerd. But I’m also a spiritual romantic in that being loved by and loving Jesus is my highest treasure.

But if all my theological, philosophical, apologetic learning is not integrated into my life by faith in Jesus to mature me holistically as a person, then I have wasted my time.

It’s possible to be a biblical literate and emotionally immature.

The overarching goal of discipleship is to partner with the Holy Spirit to produce communities of love:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ…

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Staff Member Leaving

Pastors, what do you do when staff wants to leave and join the staff of another church?

And I’m not talking about the staff you want to leave.

I’m talking about the “star” that really moves the vision of the church further, faster.

Now, let me preface the rest of the blog with this note: I have never had this happen to me, yet.

In one of our Executive Team Meetings, I asked our team, “How would we respond if a staff member believed God was calling them to join another staff?”  I then said:

We have two options: we can lead Transformation Church with a “Generosity” mind-set or a “Scarcity” mind-set.

A Generosity mind-set is established in Ephesians 4:7-16:

  1. Jesus loves His Church
  2. Jesus will provide gifted people for  His Church
  3. Jesus will build His Church
  4. Therefore, when staff feels called to another ministry or another opportunity, we can graciously bless them and help them because the Lord Jesus loves his Church, will provide gifted people for His church, and will build His Church.

This takes faith rooted in Jesus.

A Scarcity mind-set is rooted in a lack of faith in Jesus.

A Sarcity mind-set:

  1. Believes the staff belongs to them.
  2. Believes “their”…

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The American Dream, it’s something we’ve all heard about. For some, it’s something that we feel we’re all entitled to. But what happens when you wake up from the American Dream and you’re sorely disappointed? Watch as Pastor Derwin Gray explains!

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Dear Millennial Christian,

Hi, my name is Derwin. I’m the founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church.

I want to share a couple of thoughts with you pertaining to discovering “your calling”?


A calling from God is an invitation from God Himself, inviting you to partner with Him in redeeming the world as you use your grace-infused gifting, personality, and skill set.  Discovering your calling is lot like falling in love, when it happens you know.  You have an internal passion that matches your external gifting.

  • “For we are partners working together for God.” 1 Corinthians 3:10 GNT


Being a Gospel-empowered middle school teacher or a Gospel-empowered Wall Street Executive is just as important to God’s kingdom as being a pastor or international missionary. God has no second string on His team!  We need more Gospel-infused, Jesus-adoring, Spirit-empowered Christ followers in Hollywood, in politics (in both parties), education, music, and in technology.

As the Apostle Paul says,

  • “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord…

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Multi-EthnicThe Apostle Paul did not go into a Greco-Roman city and plant a church for the Jews and then a church for gentiles (non-Jews) because it would have been out-of-step with the Gospel he loved, lived, and proclaimed (Galatians 2:11-21).

Paul relentlessly believed that the power of the Gospel could create a new kind of humanity that was an altogether new ethnic group called the Church. The Church would be a community where racism, classism, and sexism would be defeated by Gospel-love (Galatians 3:24-28).

The Apostle Paul was so committed to the glory of God through the local church that eventually He was imprisoned and killed for planting Jew and gentile (multi-ethnic) churches throughout the Greco-Roman world.

“And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” Acts 22:21-22

The Following are the 8 Reasons Why the Apostle Paul wants local churches to be Multi-ethnic, whenever possible:

SOTERIOLOGICAL (Doctrine of Salvation)

In today’s culture, it seems everyone has a desire to be a star. People crave attention and accolades, and let’s face it – some will do just about anything for five minutes of fame. Reality TV is a prime example. But really, the applause of ONE is truly enough. Watch as Pastor Derwin explains!

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Foot WashingPastors, we talk, preach and make much about leadership and how to be great leaders.

But I wonder if we have it wrong?

I wonder if our view of leadership is more like that of the pagan Romans than that of Jesus.

During the Passover, Jesus’ disciples were talking to Jesus about leading and leadership and asked him who would be the greatest leaders among the disciples. Let’s eavesdrop on the greatest conversation about leadership EVER.

  • Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.” Luke 22:24-26 NLT

According to Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, leadership is about being a servant. And just in case we don’t know what being a servant is, Jesus taught us to be a living example.

  • So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist,…

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In the epic book and movie, Lord of the Rings, I’ve learned a great spiritual lesson that I pray will guide me; protect me and the people I lead at Transformation Church, including my precious wife and children.

In this epic story, Sméagol kills a friend for a special ring that had been made by the Dark Lord Soran.  This ring had the power to control all other rings.

As Sméagol embraces the ring and its cunning allure, he is transformed over time into the tortured, disfigured soul named Gollum.

Pastor, may we be ever so careful not to be deceived by the allure of the “ring”… power, control, fame, money. When we allow the “ring” to seduce and deceive us, we become tortured, disfigured souls.  We will find ourselves doing things that we would have never imagined we would do.  We will get hurt. Our families will get hurt. The people we lead will get hurt. And worst of all, the glory of God will be diminished in our lives.

Following are 5 signs that we are in danger of being allured by the “ring” and 5 ways to guard your heart.

(1) We are in…

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Old ChurchHow did 120 Jewish followers in the first century turn into a multi-ethnic movement of over 33 million followers by 350 AD?

Immediately we know they preached the Gospel under the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a given.  Sociologist and comparative religion professor, Dr. Rodney Stark in His book, The Rise of Christianity, outlines three things the early church did to bring about the greatest movement planet earth has ever seen.

I propose that as America becomes more post-Christian, the 3 things the early church did, are 3 things the church in America must do as well.


Plagues in the first and second century had catastrophic effects on the western world. Marcus Aurelius, Roman Empire from AD 161 to 180, said, “So many people died that cities and villages in Italy and in the provinces were abandoned and fell into ruin.”  (Stark, The Rise of Christianity, 76.)

Dionysius, the Bishop of Alexandria, wrote about how the Christian community embodied the Gospel by nursing the sick, and even the dying, while the pagans abandoned the sick.  He noted that the pagans “throw their sick into the…

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