You Need a Tribe: 5 Reasons People Are Joining the Renew.org Gathering
You live in a world that is changing. Fast.
As a disciple of Jesus, you face many new challenges.
Old categories aren’t holding. Long-held beliefs, morals, and behaviors have changed seemingly overnight. Even the meaning of “church” and “justice” have morphed. Communication is now mostly digital. Zoom is in; face-to-face is out. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, online news, and podcasts guide us.
Do these changes threaten the church? Or do they present us with unprecedented opportunity? Should we be optimistic? Or concerned? There is a sense in which we could answer a tentative “yes” to all these questions. Many are surmounting these challenges by joining the Renew.org “tribe.”
Seth Godin defines a “tribe” as “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” The Renew.org tribe is
- disciples connected to Jesus
- disciples connected to one another, and
- disciples connected to renewal
Renew.org connects disciples like you through our “tribal” gatherings and the teachings offered by our leader, Jesus. We band together to navigate the uncertain future, a future characterized by what Barna Group’s David Kinnaman calls “Digital Babylon”—a digital world which is largely foreign to the people of God.
Here are 5 Reasons to check out our Gathering and to consider joining Renew.org:
1. Theological Support
It is becoming too easy to question the teachings of the Bible. Did the Bible really mean what our spiritual forefathers thought it meant on these hot topic cultural issues through all the centuries?
Who wants to be perceived as intolerant? Who wants to be called judgmental? Who wants to look bigoted to the gender and identity police? No one does…but Jesus would… if it meant being faithful to God. And so will His disciples.
We are asking God to make us to be a tribe that stands on the ground of the reliable and authoritative Word of God. We proclaim the gospel, that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We believe in repentance, in baptism as a covenant making moment, and in a faithful faith. We believe that the local church is God’s plan “A” and it proclaims the hope of the world. We believe in serving others with Jesus-like love (inside and outside the church), that godly men with courageous faith must prayerfully lead as elders of the church, and that God calls us all to be disciples who demonstrate the reign of King Jesus.
2. Help to Focus on Relational Disciple Making
There are many points of focus for churches today, but most are not central. Even a focus on renewing the church itself is not what the Bible teaches as our main focus. Biblical theology and renewing the power of the Spirit are our foundations, but they too are not our primary focus as a tribe. Our predominant focus is making disciples of Jesus.
In short, we believe God wants people to place their faith in his Son and then form their lives around Him, in the power of His Spirit, to His glory—and in community. We believe that we must renew the focus on being disciples and making disciples in our lives and our churches. Our renewal is that simple.
And we all need help to do this well. That is what our tribe will do for us. We help each other to focus on being disciples who make disciples who plant churches that make more disciples…until Jesus returns.
3. Role Models
We need role models, church leaders, and churches that serve as effective examples. Men and women who live exemplary lives as disciples who make disciples. We need trusted preachers, bold storytellers, along with everyday practitioners and faithful scholars. They help show us how to be faithful to Jesus through cultural confusion and the digital maze.
Renew.org is blessed to have some of the most respected national and international disciple making leaders. And they are all aligned theologically and philosophically. From Jim Putman (DiscipleShift), to David Young (King Jesus and the Beauty of Obedience-Based Discipleship), to Shodankeh Johnson (International Trainer of Disciple Making Movements) to Joanne Kraft (Discipleshipforwomen.com), to Gary Johnson (Elders with E2), etc., God has given us many guides for our future. These tribal leaders provide voices and models so that our people can listen to, read, and be encouraged by them.
Church leaders need relationships with other leaders—older and younger—just to be there, to support us, and to encourage us and help us in times of trouble. We also need specific help as we move into the future as a tribe of disciples who make disciples. Here are some of the ways Renew leaders support one another:
a. Quality Resources – We need trusted resources that we can share, knowing they are aligned, biblical, and useful for our churches.
b. Coaching and Learning Communities – Leaders, especially young ones, need the guidance and coaching from other leaders who believe what we believe, value what we value, and do what we do.
c. Trusted Partners – As we transition our churches into a disciple making focus, we need guides. Some of these guides train elders, some of these guides help us plant churches, and some of these guides lead Biblical Colleges and Seminaries. Every Renew speaker and booth sponsor has been vetted to ensure that they are aligned with Renew beliefs and values and they can serve as trusted guides.
5. A National Family of Leaders and Churches
Isolation is not good. Being in networks and with a family of trusted leaders and churches is helpful. We can develop and share ministerial staff with each other, knowing we believe the same things. It also helps us to work together and plant churches. And when the people in our churches move, we will be able to recommend good church leaders in other places for them.
It is for these reasons and more that I am such a big fan of renew.org.