From the Renovaré Newsletter Archive

The selection below is from a July 2006 Renovaré newsletter. Download a PDF of the original newsletter.

Dear Friends of Renovaré,

Three years ago I came to our Ren­o­varé Team (who legal­ly func­tions as our Board of Trustees) with a five year Lead­er­ship Tran­si­tion Plan. The time is soon com­ing, I told them, when the best way I can help to fuel and resource the move­ment that God is cre­at­ing in our day is by is devot­ing myself full-time to prayer and to writ­ing; oth­er lead­ers will be need­ed to effec­tive­ly take Ren­o­varé to the next lev­el of min­istry and service.”

In those days of retreat togeth­er we dis­cerned that this was a good and right direc­tion for us. At this gath­er­ing we set apart a clear­ness com­mit­tee” to guide us through this five year tran­si­tion into new lead­er­ship. We are now three years into that process.


We have qui­et­ly been mak­ing the adjust­ments nec­es­sary for as seam­less a lead­er­ship tran­si­tion as pos­si­ble. We began strength­en­ing our Ren­o­varé Team — adding new and young lead­ers who would give increased vision and ener­gy to our efforts. We com­plet­ed The Ren­o­varé Spir­i­tu­al For­ma­tion Bible to lay a sol­id bib­li­cal foun­da­tion for our efforts. We’ve launched a line of fif­teen books to sur­round the Bible effort, the first two of which are announced in this Newsletter.

In the spring of 05 we reor­ga­nized our office plac­ing Lyle SmithGray­beal in the role of Coor­di­na­tor. Then in the sum­mer of 05 we appoint­ed Mar­garet Camp­bell of Hous­ton, Texas, as the Co-Chair of our Board of Trustees. This is a three year train­ing peri­od in which Mar­garet and I are work­ing togeth­er with the full expec­ta­tion that in the sum­mer of 08 Mar­garet will assume full respon­si­bil­i­ty as our Board Chair. And, believe me, I am the one get­ting the train­ing! Mar­garet has remark­able gifts of lead­er­ship and in one short year has great­ly strength­ened and expand­ed our efforts. This, friends, is exact­ly as I have hoped. I knew that if I could find lead­ers who are bet­ter at these things than I am that we could make a great team.


In Sep­tem­ber of 05 our Team gath­ered in spe­cial ses­sion for three days of retreat and dis­cern­ment. Oh, I wish could ade­quate­ly describe for you the thrill of those days. Our first day was devot­ed to a lis­ten­ing silence… no deci­sions press­ing upon us, no e‑mails to answer, no phone calls to make. One day with­out words in order that the press of dai­ly life might slip away. Allow­ing still­ness to set­tle in upon us so that we may be the more atten­tive to the Divine Whis­per. Rest­ing. Lis­ten­ing. Yield­ing. A won­der-filled day. Then, under the skill­ful lead­er­ship of Mar­garet, we began to think togeth­er about what mat­ters are cen­tral to the Ren­o­varé vision and to dream togeth­er about ways we can best serve the Church of Jesus Christ in all her mul­ti­fac­eted expres­sions. Dal­las Willard gave us a mov­ing talk on the impor­tance of the vision and goals for Ren­o­varé always being firm­ly root­ed in the Great Com­mis­sion of Matt. 28:18 – 20.

Togeth­er we con­sid­ered a vari­ety of pos­si­ble job descrip­tion mod­els for a future Pres­i­dent. After extend­ed con­ver­sa­tion we came to clear­ness on one of those mod­els. It is, I think, a unique mod­el defin­ing some­thing of the char­ac­ter and ethos of Ren­o­varé. The three days end­ed with firm deci­sions about our future direc­tion and con­crete steps to get us there.


Is this a retire­ment for you?,” you may be won­der­ing. That is not a word I use and I have con­sid­er­able dis­agree­ment over the con­cept which stands behind it. Oth­ers, how­ev­er, do use that word, most notably my wife! And it is true that when this process is com­plet­ed in the sum­mer of 08 I will be at the age (six­ty-six years) when peo­ple do think of such things. To be sure, I do hope this tran­si­tion will allow Car­olynn and me to vis­it our sev­en grand­chil­dren more fre­quent­ly, and I would love to be up on those Rocky Moun­tain trails that are yet to be hiked a bit more.

But most of all this is a mat­ter of the stew­ard­ship of my ener­gies. I believe that my most impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion to this min­istry work will be through my writing‑I have 12, maybe 15 more books that I believe I should write. And here is the rub, I sim­ply am no longer able to accom­plish this while over­see­ing the grow­ing work of Ren­o­varé. So, I must make a choice, and that choice is to devote myself to the writing.

I hope you see the val­ue of mak­ing this choice, not only to Ren­o­varé but to the larg­er spir­i­tu­al for­ma­tion move­ment, while I am still stand­ing. It is a win/​win for all con­cerned. Still active and alert I can both extend the cor­pus of my own writ­ing and coun­sel and encour­age the work of God among us. At the same time, oth­ers can step into lead­er­ship roles, tak­ing the work to new lev­els of effec­tive­ness. (A Founder sel­dom is able to guide a work into its sec­ond and third phas­es of development.)


This does not mean that I will dis­ap­pear. No, Ren­o­varé is in my blood and I plan to be very much involved and very much con­nect­ed with her ongo­ing work. We are pro­ject­ing that a new Pres­i­dent will be on board by the sum­mer of 07. I plan to be work­ing close­ly with this per­son for a full year. The Team has agreed that once this tran­si­tion is com­plete in the sum­mer of 08 I will be wel­comed in as an active Ren­o­varé Team and Board Mem­ber. My trav­el will be great­ly reduced, to be sure, but I will remain active.

But I must empha­size that this is a gen­uine tran­si­tion. The Board Chair and the new Pres­i­dent will have full author­i­ty to guide the future of Ren­o­varé. I will have relin­quished that role. No doubt, as the Founder of Ren­o­varé there will be a con­tin­u­ing sense of me as the first among equals.” But we will work and func­tion togeth­er as equals. This is part of our ethos.


How will a new Pres­i­dent be cho­sen? Over the past three years the Clear­ness Com­mit­tee has been qui­et­ly vis­it­ing with a wide range of per­sons — some who are poten­tial pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates and oth­ers who have been able to give us insight and direc­tion. Each year this group has report­ed their progress in con­sid­er­able detail to our entire Team. We have had two extend­ed two-week sea­sons of prayer and oth­er spe­cial one day times of fast­ing and prayer.

Now, we feel it is time to make our search process pub­lic by shar­ing this let­ter with you, our dear friends and sup­port­ers. Through­out this Sum­mer and Fall the Clear­ness Com­mit­tee will enter an inten­sive time of search­ing and inter­view­ing pos­si­ble can­di­dates: men, women, all eth­nic and racial back­grounds, whomev­er. Mar­garet Camp­bell will chair these efforts. May I urge you to care­ful­ly and prayer­ful­ly look over the job descrip­tion post­ed on our web­site. You may know of some­one we should con­sid­er, or per­haps you your­self should apply.

Our entire Team will gath­er once again in ear­ly Jan­u­ary of 07 to see if we are able to come to clear­ness. If so, we will extend an invi­ta­tion for a new Pres­i­dent to join us, effec­tive in the sum­mer of 07. If not, we will con­tin­ue our process until we do dis­cov­er uni­ty of heart and spir­it. Please do pray for us and with us through this process. To this end we have devel­oped a six week prayer guide for this Fall. It will be avail­able in August. We invite you to join us in prayer for six weeks this Fall as a way of bring­ing our hearts and minds togeth­er to cor­po­rate­ly dis­cern the will of God for our future. Thank you.

Please know, my dear friends, that the pow­er of the Lord is over all, and we can be con­fi­dent that the good work God has begun in us will be brought to com­ple­tion (Phil. 1:6). And what is the work he calls us to here, now? To me Jesus says, Go!” To you Jesus says, *Go!” Go! … Go! … Go! Pro­claim the good news of the avail­abil­i­ty of the King­dom of God to all. Avail­able through Jesus. Go! Tell them with your voice and show them with your life that they too can enter into the LIFE of the King­dom of God begin­ning now and con­tin­u­ing on into eternity.

Peace and joy,

Richard J. Foster

Text First Published July 2006

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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