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Transformation

The Missing Piece

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

Author Dr. D. Vincent Ford offers Christian evangelicals timely advice on effecting change in personal relationships (with God and amongst others), the workplace, within the church, as well as their entire cities. Ford, a former teacher, high school principal, superintendent and pastor now spends the bulk of his energy operating Mission Miami Valley and Streams Publishing Company. In this text, readers will discover the model, pattern, issues and conclusions for bringing about transformational change in both the lives of individuals and corporate entities.

In Part One of this, at times, overly detailed practical resource, Ford describes the Marion Correctional Institution’s (MCI) model of transformation that the author says represents the potential change that can occur in any city across the nation. Ford asserts that as MCI is a city within itself, any principles for recasting can be applied similarly to other institutions. This author believes for lasting positive reforms to occur, Christians must remain continually in the presence of Christ while serving God and others. This, says Ford, is the missing piece that determines whether or not a crusade for change will be successful or not. Part One cites the numerous programs in operation at MCI, and the “streams” that grouped as a whole forged new life in this once “crime-infested” prison. Ford describes the key components as including: intercessory prayer, visionary leadership, inspirational retreats, interfaith communities, volunteer and mentoring programs. Ford then supplies a profile of a prisoner whose life was transformed under this model as well as numerous brief narratives from MCI inmates.

In Part Two, the author then takes a completely—somewhat jarring—sidetrack as he tackles the importance God’s tabernacle, describes an evangelical’s pattern for effective Christian living and presents a concise primer on the life of faith. Ford follows this Christian living section with several chapters focusing on methodology, planning and the quest for power. In conclusion, readers glean information on the present state of the church, with its strengths and weaknesses as seen through the book of Revelation, and then a recap of the text is again rephrased (in too great a depth) in the closing sections. While Ford’s resource offers solid counsel and recommendations, the redundancy of the material is off-putting, as is the abrupt switch from one topic to another.

Michele Howe