© 2019 by Renewal Church Lafayette

OUR STORY

Renewal Church is a community of faith, formed in the summer of 2018 around a shared passion for the mission of God in Lafayette, Indiana. When a few of us first gathered somewhat spontaneously for a time of worship in a shelter at Murdock Park, we believed God was at work in our community, and we wanted to be a part of it. We still do.

So, the question has always been: How do we join that work that God is doing? We beleive  there are three key ways:

Renewing People. In a world of guilt and sin, we believe God is at work to bring healing and new life. We join that work by welcoming all people, bearing witness to the good news, and extending the universal invitation of divine grace. Realizing that we are all sinners, we honor each person’s spiritual journey and lovingly help them take the next step in following Jesus. We are not a church for the perfect or the spiritually elite, but for those who know their need.

Renewing Community. In a world of hostility and division, we believe God is at work to bring unity and peace. We join that work by sharing our lives with one another, celebrating our God-given diversity, and cultivating a community of patient love. Knowing that our relationships are often fractured by selfishness and pride, we embrace a shared identity rooted in reconciliation, vulnerability, and forgiveness. We treat one another as fellow members of God’s beautiful family.

 

Renewing the World. In a world of brokenness and oppression, we believe God is at work to bring healing and justice. We join that work by contributing to the common good, standing with the vulnerable and marginalized, and living as a redemptive presence wherever we are called. We strive to be agents of human flourishing, prayerfully seeking God’s kingdom in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. 

Slowly but surely, we've been trying to discern what it means to be faithful in each of these areas.

We spent the first six months of our life as a church meeting each Sunday in the home of a generous family. It was there that we got a taste for church as family. Informal. Unpretentious. Compulsively behind schedule. We didn't know what we were doing (we still don't), but we had fun figuring things out and trusting God in the process.

In 2019, we moved our Sunday gatherings to Carnahan Hall. This gave us more space and a more public, accessible presence in the community. We continued to keep things laid back and informal, choosing to emphasize relationships and authenticity over programming and performance. In this new venue, we had the privilege of meeting some new people, welcoming new members into our family, and clarifying our sense of calling.

 

Slowly but surely, God began to reveal a vision for the future in which we would look less like a traditional church and more like a network of small, scattered communities. To put it a bit provocatively, we believe our future is small. Having started out in a living room, we never want to lose the "living room" feel. We're all busy. We're all stressed. We're all pulled in a hundred different directions. But we want to learn to slow down, make time for each other, and prioritize the relationships God has given us. Sometimes this can get messy (true community always is!), but we believe it's a mess worth making.

One of the most beautiful aspects of our short history has been our growing ability to be a church where anyone can feel at home. Surrounded by seekers, skeptics, and spiritual nomads, we believe God has called us to be a refuge for pilgrims at any stage of their spiritual journey. Together, we want to cultivate an environment in which faith can be explored, love can be experienced, questions can be asked, and good news can be found. Some of us have been in the church our whole lives. Some of us once loved the church but we're now sorting through wounds or disillusionment we've sustained along the way. Some of us have long believed that we don't belong in the church at all. But God has brought us together and we're finding that our diversity makes all of us better.

When it comes to doctrine, we try to focus on the main things and practice charity with everything else. We're a nondenominational church whose only statement of faith is the historic Nicene Creed. We love to dig into Scripture and talk about who Jesus is, but we're not here to debate theological details or ride doctrinal hobby horses. We'd rather give our energy to loving neighbors, seeking justice, and practicing mercy.

If you'd like to find out more about our story (and perhaps discern if our story might become a part of yours), we'd be glad to hear from you. Just drop an email to info@rclaf.com and we'll be in touch soon!