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