The 8 “S” Words of Life Transformation

There are basically four ways compassionate people attempt to move individuals in need  from human suffering to human flourishing:

  1. Humanitarian aid
  2. Disaster relief
  3. Community development
  4. Life transformation

The last one, life transformation, is the primary undertaking of rescue missions and similar ministries that are members of Citygate Network. Their work focuses on breaking the bonds of destructive habits, bad decisions (made by or forced upon the person), and enslaving conditions. The breadth-of-life transformation work can be described with 8 “S” words.

Saved: making choices that will keep them from chronic illness and physical death;

Sober: no longer controlled by stimulants or depressants;

Stable: mentally and emotionally balanced and enjoying good health;

Schooled: enriched with the fundamental knowledge to be competent and competitive;

Skilled: being academically credentialed and set on a career path;

Secure: able to provide financially for themselves and their loved ones;

Settled: benefitting from having the same safe place of their own to stay every night;

Serving: giving back to the community through missional living.


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Every one of these “S” words needs to happen in the context of community—surrounded by a group of caring individuals. And this is what happens every time a rescue mission or similar ministry is the facilitator of life transformation.

Most importantly, within Citygate Network, members believe that spiritual regeneration—entering into a relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ—is a key to success. We believe that real transformation in a person is possible because the Bible teaches that life comes with a "Reset button."

It says in 2 Corinthians 5 that, “…we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look [on the outside]… we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with [Jesus] gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”

Citygate Network’s tagline underscores this prospect. It says: “Enter here. Start anew.” And that’s what hundreds of thousands of people who are guests, students, and clients at our member organizations do every year.