February 5, 2024
Dear RENEW.org Network Friends,
Last year, our team at RENEW.org Network prayed and worked through our theme for 2024 and our National Gathering in Indianapolis, April 29/30. After prayer and multiple conversations, we landed on what we believe is the most important challenge that church leaders and churches face right now:
Courageous Renewal (download a visual guide here)
Courage is needed because we are now living in a culture whose values and practices are such that people are increasingly hostile toward many of the stands Jesus calls us to take. We have to have the courage to resist and even say no to many of the thoughts and feelings promoted by our culture.
This past week, I had a conversation with Kyle Idleman, author and senior pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville. We have assigned Kyle the closing teaching for the RENEW Gathering where he will call everyone to a personal commitment to courageous renewal. Kyle told me that he had been in Rome, preparing for a sermon series on the book of Romans, and he came back with a similar conviction. “There is a lot of chaos in our culture,” he said. “We need courage!”
“There is a lot of chaos in our culture,” he said. “We need courage!”
Renewal is needed because our churches need the Holy Spirit’s power to make us into churches full of courageous people. In addition, we are calling God to renew us so that we can be faithful to Jesus and win increasing numbers of people who do not know his ways to place their faith in Jesus.
Here is the specific path to Courageous Renewal that we champion…
- We surrender to Jesus’ kingship by making Scripture alone our final authority.
- We focus on the King Jesus Gospel and faithful faith as our response.
- We make disciple making the core mission of the Church.
- We rely on the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting.
- We collaborate cross-culturally in our mission.
My home church just finished a 21-day fast this past week. Throughout the fast, we called out to God for his power. To be candid, it has been an interesting time. Lots of conflicts arose, but, unexpectedly, most of them were resolved. I am convinced that the Holy Spirit brought lingering problems to the surface so that they could be resolved in a God-honoring way. People are coming together with a fire for God, and we are now turning our attention to reach people who need Jesus as a disciple making church, as we sensed God’s presence in our recent friend day.
“People are coming together with a fire for God.”
I am praying that God will use RENEW.org Network to influence church leaders and churches to follow this same path.
I encourage you to download the read the 10-minute booklet on Courageous Renewal (click here).
And prayerfully make plans to join us in Indianapolis so that you can rally together with us in this great cause!
For the King and His Kingdom,