"The church is not formed around a stage

but around a table."

-J.R. Woodward & Dan White Jr., The Church As Movement

In a young church like ours, change is inevitable. We're constantly in a state of motion and development. That's why we talk often about how we're figuring things out as we go. But some changes are bigger than others, like the ones we've been talking about recently in connection to our ongoing quest to "reimagine church."

Back in May, the Renewal family spent three consecutive weeks exploring what it meant to reimagine church along the lines of place (how we connect to our surroundings), space (how we make room for deep relationships), and grace (how we unleash our unique giftedness). One of the recent results of that discussion has been a desire to pursue a more rooted, family-like, and empowered experience of church.

For most people in our culture, "church" is a Sunday morning event. Music, preaching, children's ministry, front door greeters, bulletins, the whole nine yards. But is that all church is meant to be? What if God wants us to experience church as something far bigger and more comprehensive than a weekly event? What if church is supposed to be less about a place to go and more about a shared life to enjoy? 

These are some of the questions that are behind our most recent change as a church family: the creation of smaller communities that will ideally become the primary means of experiencing church life within Renewal. Imagine: groups of people that gather regularly to share a meal, to engage with the Scriptures, to hang out with neighbors, to serve the community. At the heart of each group is a core of committed people who open their lives up to one another, but at the edges of each group is an open door to anyone and everyone who wants to share a meal, a laugh, or a story. 

 

And no, we're not talking about launching a small groups ministry. It's far more comprehensive than that. The idea here is to scale back the frequency of our Sunday morning large-group gatherings so that we can give priority to more intimate contexts in which organic, invested, missional life together can really flourish. Think of is as a reconfiguration of our church into a network of smaller churches. It's not the addition of a new church program. It's a total overhaul of how we understand what it means to be the church. 

 

Currently, five couples are learning to lead these communities by learning to live as a community. In park shelters, on back patios, and around campfires, this group is practicing a more holistic approach to church. As they learn together over the course of this fall, the plan is that these couples will begin moving toward leadership roles in their own respective groups, made up of all those within the Renewal family who accept the invitation to take the plunge. And so will begin the (hopefully) never-ending process of growth by multiplication. One group becoming four groups becoming...who knows!

 

As these groups form and establish an identity, their first job will be to discern God's direction for them as a community. Some may meet regularly on Sunday afternoons in a home; some may meet regularly on Friday evenings in a bar. Some may invest into a specific neighborhood; some may invest into a specific demographic of people. Some may start new initiatives to seek justice and the common good; some may partner with local organizations already at work. The way these groups ultimately express themselves will look vastly different from one to the next. But what they'll all have in common is a shared desire to be rooted in the community, invested in one another, and empowered to join God's mission.

If you'd like to learn more about this upcoming change in how we do church, please listen to the August 25 message below. Once you've done that, feel free to make an appointment to sit down with Drew over lunch or a cup of your favorite beverage to talk through things some more. We're trying to make this an open conversation, so you're invited to add your thoughts and questions into the mix.

We'd also love for you to take a few moments and fill out the interest form below. 

This is a big step in our ongoing pursuit of being the church we believe God wants us to be. Pray with us as we take this step, and stay tuned for more information as things develop!

Reimagining Church: Revisited (Philippians 1:6)

August 25, 2019 - Drew Humphrey
00:00 / 00:00
INTEREST FORM

Your responses will help us in two ways. First, they will help us in the communication of this transition by giving us a better idea of where we need more thorough discussion as a church. Secondly, it will help us in implementing this transition by giving us a better idea of who will likely be a part of these groups when they launch. Thank you for participating. Your responses will not be made public!

How well do you understand the concept of this change in how we do church?
What is your current level of interest in participating in one of these new groups?
Which of the five-fold gifts (Eph. 4:11) do you most identify with?

Check out fivefoldsurvey.com if you're not sure!

"The church is not formed around a stage

but around a table."

-J.R. Woodward & Dan White Jr., The Church As Movement

In a young church like ours, change is inevitable. We're constantly in a state of motion and development. That's why we talk often about how we're figuring things out as we go. But some changes are bigger than others, like the ones we've been talking about recently in connection to our ongoing quest to "reimagine church."

Back in May, the Renewal family spent three consecutive weeks exploring what it meant to reimagine church along the lines of place (how we connect to our surroundings), space (how we make room for deep relationships), and grace (how we unleash our unique giftedness). One of the recent results of that discussion has been a desire to pursue a more rooted, family-like, and empowered experience of church.

For most people in our culture, "church" is a Sunday morning event. Music, preaching, children's ministry, front door greeters, bulletins, the whole nine yards. But is that all church is meant to be? What if God wants us to experience church as something far bigger and more comprehensive than a weekly event? What if church is supposed to be less about a place to go and more about a shared life to enjoy? 

These are some of the questions that are behind our most recent change as a church family: the creation of smaller communities that will ideally become the primary means of experiencing church life within Renewal. Imagine: groups of people that gather regularly to share a meal, to engage with the Scriptures, to hang out with neighbors, to serve the community. At the heart of each group is a core of committed people who open their lives up to one another, but at the edges of each group is an open door to anyone and everyone who wants to share a meal, a laugh, or a story. 

 

And no, we're not talking about launching a small groups ministry. It's far more comprehensive than that. The idea here is to scale back the frequency of our Sunday morning large-group gatherings so that we can give priority to more intimate contexts in which organic, invested, missional life together can really flourish. Think of is as a reconfiguration of our church into a network of smaller churches. It's not the addition of a new church program. It's a total overhaul of how we understand what it means to be the church. 

 

Currently, five couples are learning to lead these communities by learning to live as a community. In park shelters, on back patios, and around campfires, this group is practicing a more holistic approach to church. As they learn together over the course of this fall, the plan is that these couples will begin moving toward leadership roles in their own respective groups, made up of all those within the Renewal family who accept the invitation to take the plunge. And so will begin the (hopefully) never-ending process of growth by multiplication. One group becoming four groups becoming...who knows!

 

As these groups form and establish an identity, their first job will be to discern God's direction for them as a community. Some may meet regularly on Sunday afternoons in a home; some may meet regularly on Friday evenings in a bar. Some may invest into a specific neighborhood; some may invest into a specific demographic of people. Some may start new initiatives to seek justice and the common good; some may partner with local organizations already at work. The way these groups ultimately express themselves will look vastly different from one to the next. But what they'll all have in common is a shared desire to be rooted in the community, invested in one another, and empowered to join God's mission.

If you'd like to learn more about this upcoming change in how we do church, you can start out by listening to the August 25 message below:

Reimagining Church: Revisited (Philippians 1:6)

August 25, 2019 - Drew Humphrey
00:00 / 00:00

 Once you've done that, feel free to make an appointment to sit down with Drew over lunch or a cup of your favorite beverage to talk through things some more. We're trying to make this an open conversation, so you're invited to add your thoughts and questions into the mix.

 

In the meantime, we'd also love for you to take a few moments and fill out the interest form at the bottom of this page. It's a helpful tool for our leaders as we prepare for this change over the coming months.

This is a big step in our ongoing pursuit of being the church we believe God wants us to be. Pray with us as we take this step, and stay tuned for more information as things develop!

INTEREST FORM

Your responses will help us in two ways. First, they will help us in the communication of this transition by giving us a better idea of where we need more thorough discussion as a church. Secondly, they will help us in implementing this transition by giving us a better idea of who will likely be a part of these groups when they launch. This is not a formal sign-up form, and you're not committing to anything by filling it out. Thank you for participating. Your responses will remain confidential.

How well do you understand the concept of this change in how we do church?
What is your current level of interest in participating in one of these new groups?
Which of the five-fold gifts (Eph. 4:11) do you most identify with?

Check out fivefoldsurvey.com if you're not sure!

© 2019 by Renewal Church Lafayette