The NT is really clear that we are transformed into the image of Jesus by beholding or seeing Jesus through the spiritual revelation of Him to our hearts by the power of the Spirit. Therefore, if we want to "be like Jesus", the way that happens is through the truth of Jesus being preached, taught, read and meditated upon. If this is done and the Spirit moves in power to take that revelation into the inner man, then real spiritual transformation occurs and the life of Jesus begins to permeate the man or woman of God and to radiate outward to those in our life circles. At this point, then, a question arises about whether all these conferences, counseling sessions, programs, seminars, sermons and teachings about how to be a good parent, a good spouse, a good friend or a good anything are actually effective at all and in fact make less and less sense. If you are like Jesus in deeper and more profound ways, you will be all these things that all these programs seek to achieve but always fall short on.
The self help / self improvement programs and teachings that most churches feature are more worldly than wise. They are fundamentally fleshly and legalistic at their roots. They are easier to teach and sell better to the public of course, but they don't have the ability to transform and strengthen the inner man or woman. The goal of the church is to help each other become spiritually mature or conformed to His image ( more like Jesus ) through the knowledge of Jesus( Ephesians 1-4).
Feed the roots of the soul and heart with spiritual knowledge and "food" of Jesus Christ and the fruits of Christ life will be produced spiritually, organically, authentically and lastingly and not synthetically and short lived like you will get by programs based on proverbs and behavioral modification. We need to see and KNOW Jesus in order to be like Jesus.
Revealing Christ is the goal of the church and its source and fountain of real transformation and change both outside the walls and inside as well. It was designed by God that way so that Jesus gets the glory, all of it.
To many, this seems all too mystical and spiritual. It is completely Biblical however. To others it is too subjective and ambiguous. They like proverbs and tips on healthier relationships and how to make them better, instructions that tell us what to do and how to do it better. To these I ask this question..........why are there so few verses in the NT on how to be a parent, spouse, friend, etc or how to improve on those relationships.? It is like a desert in the NT on these issues in spite of the fact that those relationships are all very significant to God. The answer lies in the fact that God is more focused on knowing Jesus and being like Jesus. If that happens, all other relationship issues are taken care of.
What will the church do though if we lose all those programs and self improvement small groups? Maybe with the free time we could serve the world like Jesus as Jesus so His glory fills the whole earth