Thoughts on Church Renewal

When one of your friends comes back from a trip, a vacation road trip or a mission trip or chaperoning a youth gathering, you know how they say, “Yeah, it was a lot of work (driving, building things, coordinating kids…), but I got so energized. There were some big moments when I felt really alive and I’ll never forget it.”

Things can happen that take a group from being a bunch of individuals to being a team, focusing their energy together on something important. Those times bring a sense of renewed purpose and new energy. In the church we call that renewal. But without a big gathering, without a central project or a shared road trip, how can a church experience renewal?

Simple acts, done over time, spiritual missional practices or habits, can bring church renewal. Try Dwelling in the Word, in the same Bible story over an extended period of time – the same story, over and over, because then it’s not just the usual Bible study or the usual visit to the texts for the coming week. Staying, abiding, dwelling in a text or story over time creates a new atmosphere of deep listening, through which the group can be deeply touched, refocused, renewed. Try it and see.  It’s church renewal on a mini-scale with a maximum effect.

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