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I’ve witnessed renewing congregations come together in breath-taking, holy ways; older folk sharing stories with rapt younger folk, people quietly walking across a packed room during coffee for long reconciling hugs, leaders standing to support a younger person’s “crazy” idea, roomfuls of people holding hands to sing a closing song at the end of an evening filled with meaningful conversations - or confessions. The holiness of renewal is confirmed in these many sprinklings, evidencing the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Renewal in congregations is usually intentional. It’s often messy too. Some people feel threatened while others are overly eager. Naivety is abundant, cynicism too. Sometimes people get hurt. And often leaders give up. It is hard work — even though it is holy.

Some questions that will be addressed in an upcoming webinar will include:

  • What if not everyone on Council supports a renewal process?
  • What do we do with those who refuse to participate?
  • Is it ever too late for renewal to have a chance?
  • What should the role of the pastor be?
  • What if we don’t have a pastor?
  • What if we tried something like this 7 years ago, and nothing good came of it?

I’d like to share with you a layout with a biblical basis for Congregational Renewal. It’s called the “Journey of Three Lands and Two Rivers” and I’ll be sharing it in a free, one-hour webinar “Navigating the Challenge of Church Renewal” on November 13. The first half of the webinar will be devoted to an explanation of the journey with leadership strategies and emphases for each phase. This will be followed by a Q & A discussion — including my good and bad experiences working with renewal in almost thirty churches and hopefully including the experiences of many who attend this session. For details and registration visit

What questions do you have about the journey of church renewal?

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