On a hike with my dad awhile back, he casu­al­ly threw out an idea, Next year is the five-hun­dredth anniver­sary of the Protes­tant Ref­or­ma­tion. I won­der if any­one will have any bold pre­dic­tions for where we are head­ed as a church?” 

Great ques­tion. I have no bold pre­dic­tions. But maybe I could offer a timid one, actu­al­ly, rather a hope. Con­sid­er a move­ment that is gen­uine­ly ecu­meni­cal in breadth and deeply for­ma­tion­al in focus. 

Imag­ine a gath­ered peo­ple, meet­ing all across the coun­try with the pri­ma­ry pur­pose of cul­ti­vat­ing dis­ci­ples of Jesus with the resources and tools to gen­uine­ly take peo­ple deep­er into life with God, where hon­est trans­for­ma­tion into the image of Christ from the inside out is a liv­ing real­i­ty, all the while respect­ing and incor­po­rat­ing the his­toric rich­ness of the ways God has inter­act­ed with his peo­ple through­out the ages. What would it look like for a local church fel­low­ship, at its foun­da­tion, to embody the work of Ren­o­varé, not in name, but in treasure. 

To be sure, there are many won­der­ful church­es doing many won­der­ful things these days. But I am con­stant­ly meet­ing peo­ple who real­ly want to move deep­er in the spir­i­tu­al life only to find them­selves orphaned, lone­ly, and iso­lat­ed from any local Chris­t­ian fellowship. 

In this essay I’d like to briefly explore what an ecu­meni­cal and for­ma­tion­al church move­ment might look like. I’ll start with look­ing at a holis­tic vision of Chris­t­ian life and faith and six of the his­toric expres­sions of the Church. Much has been writ­ten on this sub­ject, so I won’t go into a for­mal teach­ing. But I will offer some brief thoughts on the rel­e­van­cy of these streams in this place in time and his­to­ry, and I’ll work with what spir­i­tu­al for­ma­tion can look like ful­ly embed­ded in the life of a local congregation. 

First, a lit­tle history. 

In 1998 my father, Richard Fos­ter, pub­lished the book Streams of Liv­ing Water. In it he out­lined six his­tor­i­cal move­ments of the Chris­t­ian Church. These six streams” had been the impe­tus for found­ing Ren­o­varé — the Con­tem­pla­tive, Holi­ness, Evan­gel­i­cal, Social Jus­tice, Charis­mat­ic and Incar­na­tion­al tra­di­tions. When this book was writ­ten, many Chris­tians were siloed” with­in var­i­ous denom­i­na­tions, each hold­ing dif­fer­ent expres­sions and move­ments of God, and often unaware of the trea­sure the con­gre­ga­tion across the street held. The book was intend­ed to intro­duce the local church to the his­toric, holis­tic Church and the rich­ness of ways Chris­tians for two thou­sand years had been encoun­ter­ing God. As Chris Hall likes to say, The Holy Spir­it has a his­to­ry.” (For more infor­ma­tion see our page on The Six Streams.)

As Ren­o­varé began, its core teach­ing was cen­tered around the avail­abil­i­ty of God’s king­dom here and now, offer­ing a prac­ti­cal strat­e­gy for spir­i­tu­al growth (the spir­i­tu­al dis­ci­plines), and a bal­anced vision of Chris­t­ian life and faith (the streams). 

The Con­tem­pla­tive Tra­di­tion
Prayer-Filled Life: Our Heart’s Steady Atten­tion on God

Prayer is the pri­ma­ry prac­tice of Chris­tians and much good work is being done in this. What is prac­ti­cal and help­ful in this tra­di­tion today is prayer as an inter­ac­tive rela­tion­ship with God that involves our lis­ten­ing as much as our talk­ing. God, you see, speaks most clear­ly in silence. 

There remains a des­per­ate need and long­ing in humans sim­ply to be still and know God. Our soci­ety is lit­er­al­ly dying from the assaults of noise and dis­trac­tion that are so char­ac­ter­is­tic of mod­ern cul­ture. And while this prac­tice can be done alone, I’ve found there is some­thing very pow­er­ful about a gath­ered peo­ple wait­ing on God in the qui­et. A Sun­day ser­vice is a per­fect place to invite and teach peo­ple to be still before God. Spir­i­tu­al matu­ri­ty is near­ly impos­si­ble with­out a reg­u­lar prac­tice of silence and soli­tude. These have sig­nif­i­cant long-term impli­ca­tions, not just for an individual’s for­ma­tion into Christ-like­ness, but, for soci­ety at large. Peo­ple learn­ing to live unhur­ried lives — liv­ing like Jesus, at ease with God, them­selves and oth­ers could tru­ly trans­form our world. 

The Holi­ness Tra­di­tion
Vir­tu­ous Life: Respond­ing with Integrity

Holi­ness is one of those words that is large­ly mis­un­der­stood and comes with incred­i­ble bag­gage for most peo­ple. To be blunt about it, legal­ism is not holi­ness. Social moral­i­ty may be a byprod­uct of holi­ness, but it is hard­ly the point. Holi­ness is not about mak­ing sure our exter­nal life looks accept­able, like the Phar­isees, rather it is an inward con­di­tion of the heart that over­flows into our choic­es. Holi­ness is sim­ply liv­ing a life that func­tions well.

We start by being open to the idea that Jesus is a real­is­tic and prac­ti­cal teacher who real­ly under­stands human beings and offers us a help­ful way to live. 

A con­gre­ga­tion­al cul­ture bathed in holi­ness offers the world a beau­ti­ful expres­sion of peo­ple seek­ing to live lives before God and offer­ing their choic­es as a vol­un­tary sac­ri­fice of love. In the con­tem­pla­tive tra­di­tion we learn to lis­ten, and God is so good to impress upon us indi­vid­u­al­ly and cor­po­rate­ly sim­ple and small ways for us to begin prac­tic­ing holi­ness. Things like choos­ing hon­esty, love of neigh­bor and integri­ty of speech. How about avoid­ing the lat­est gad­gets and fash­ion to reduce imped­i­ments in our rela­tion­ships with the poor and as a small way to address the oppres­sion and slav­ery used in the pro­duc­tion of these goods? We can learn to for­sake the idols of impres­sion-man­age­ment and peo­ple-pleas­ing as an act of sub­mis­sion before God. We can grace­ful­ly help one anoth­er to right­ly order our sex­u­al lives, reject­ing our culture’s dehu­man­iza­tion and objec­ti­fi­ca­tion of the oth­er. Or maybe for a group the task could be to col­lec­tive­ly ana­lyze our choic­es about food and alco­hol con­sump­tion, free­ing our­selves from its dan­gers and as an act of sol­i­dar­i­ty with the hun­dreds dying today from the grip of its excess. 

A church cul­ture that knows and prac­tices holi­ness offers the world lit­tle glimpses into the abun­dant life Jesus invites us to expe­ri­ence. And dare I say, these sim­ple prac­tices of align­ing our actions with our heart’s desire to be pleas­ing before God can actu­al­ly be kind of fun. 

The Evan­gel­i­cal Tra­di­tion
Word-Cen­tered Life: Liv­ing the Life-Giv­ing Message

Evan­gel­i­cal” is anoth­er one of those tricky words. Lin­guis­ti­cal­ly it is often used to ref­er­ence vot­ing blocks more than any­thing else. So we have to work a lit­tle with what this tra­di­tion actu­al­ly is about. 

Think of the Word-Cen­tered Life as three planks: 

  • The Bible
  • Procla­ma­tion of the Word
  • The Liv­ing Word — God still speak­ing to His people

I’ll briefly address two: 

The Bible

For the major­i­ty of Chris­t­ian his­to­ry, the only access peo­ple had to the Bible was from its being read in a Church ser­vice. It’s now esti­mat­ed that the aver­age Amer­i­can house­hold has four Bibles. While this cul­tur­al expo­sure has had a tremen­dous­ly pos­i­tive impact, it has also cre­at­ed some gen­uine prob­lems. While the Bible is well estab­lished in soci­ety as a poten­tial­ly help­ful tool for instruc­tion and com­fort, it is also known as a weapon of pow­er, destruc­tive­ly used to incite argu­ments and oppres­sion. In talk­ing with peo­ple, both Chris­t­ian and non-Chris­t­ian, I’m increas­ing­ly sur­prised at the lev­el of bag­gage many have with regard to the Bible. There’s this strange mud­dle of immo­bi­liz­ing guilt that the mere men­tion of the Bible brings. Of course for some it is a reminder of their bad choic­es, but for many it’s a nag­ging sense that the Jesus life is sim­ply unat­tain­able, or that they can’t make sense of it, while for oth­ers it’s that they don’t take enough time with it in the way they think they should. And so the mere men­tion of the Bible is like remind­ing some­one of the clut­tered clos­et they keep mean­ing to clean. 

Of course the obses­sion with treat­ing the Scrip­tures as pure­ly an exer­cise of the mind and intel­lec­tu­al­iz­ing it as you would a text­book isn’t help­ing mat­ters either. 

So let me offer a few ideas that might be help­ful for local con­gre­ga­tions. We want to teach peo­ple to live into the words of Scrip­ture; prac­tices that encour­age slow read­ing of the text, Lec­tio dev­ina or mem­o­riza­tion for the sake of liv­ing into it, rather than accomplishment. 

As Eugene Peter­son says, Read­ers become what they read. If Holy Scrip­ture is to be some­thing oth­er than mere gos­sip about God, it must be internalized.” 

The Bible has the poten­tial to be an incred­i­ble gift to the human race, not some­thing we wor­ship as a rigid answer to all of life’s ills — rather it can lead us to wor­ship, invit­ing us to live into the divine mys­tery and to impli­cate our­selves into the sto­ry. We are invit­ed to fol­low and obey – a great joy for the liv­ing of our days. 

Procla­ma­tion of the Word 

Evan­ge­lism” is anoth­er word that comes with a lot of bag­gage. Essen­tial­ly with this we are invit­ing and train­ing oth­ers to live a deep­er life with God. We live in a day and age where sys­tems and for­mu­las are met with sus­pi­cion, and hon­est­ly, they are not help­ful. What is help­ful are human rela­tion­ships, not the bait and switch kind like a sort of sales­man for God, rather, gen­uine care for one anoth­er. We want to absolute­ly reject the prac­tice of dehu­man­iz­ing one anoth­er in the name of God. Manip­u­lat­ing some­one to agree with us so we can car­ry the tro­phy of a saved soul may be one of the most destruc­tive forces that will keep oth­ers from fol­low­ing Jesus. Instead of fol­low­ing the cor­po­rate play­book for gar­ner­ing new con­sumers, we live in rela­tion­ship with oth­ers and share about our life with God as God leads. 

The obses­sive growth mod­el with a bla­tant dis­re­gard for gen­uine life-long dis­ci­ple­ship is a gen­uine prob­lem today. Empha­sis on con­ver­sion with­out offer­ing oth­ers our com­mit­ment to fol­low though and the means that help guide peo­ple into a life of appren­tice­ship with Jesus poten­tial­ly has a long lin­eage of leav­ing peo­ple con­fused and hurt. We sim­ply share and teach what we know as authen­ti­cal­ly and hon­est­ly as we can. Love is the order of the eter­nal here and now King­dom Jesus offers to all of humanity.

The Charis­mat­ic Tra­di­tion
Spir­it-Empow­ered Life: Fuel­ing our lives from the pres­ence and pow­er of God

For many, this tra­di­tion is pri­mar­i­ly thought of in terms of wor­ship style. Church­es are often cat­e­go­rized as charis­mat­ic” based sole­ly on spe­cif­ic prac­tices: pray­ing for heal­ing, speak­ing in tongues, danc­ing or rais­ing hands dur­ing wor­ship. This com­mon cat­e­go­riza­tion offers a severe­ly lim­it­ed view of the tradition. 

The truth is that all Chris­tians are charis­mat­ic, as our very accep­tance and growth in Christ is a work of the Spir­it. By def­i­n­i­tion, being a Chris­t­ian means inter­ac­tion with the Spir­it. It’s impor­tant not to nar­row­ly define what the Charis­mat­ic tra­di­tion looks like. Liv­ing life in the pres­ence and pow­er of the Spir­it has many dif­fer­ent impli­ca­tions and expres­sions. The Spir­it brings com­fort, gen­tle­ness, pow­er, signs and won­ders. It is not for us to lim­it or judge; we sim­ply receive. 

God doesn’t seem to be in the habit of push­ing him­self upon peo­ple. The ques­tion is not what man­i­fes­ta­tion the Spir­it will take, but rather what are you will­ing to let him do? Grace allows us to start where we are and works with us as we grow in our open­ness and awareness. 

I think of this tra­di­tion as sim­ply being open to the move­ments of the Spir­it. It involves a pos­ture of atten­tive­ness, a lis­ten­ing and respond­ing to the wind of God, ever active, ever involved, in the work­ings of his peo­ple. For me, this is often man­i­fest­ed in sub­tle prompt­ings, not in the big, loud, or dis­tract­ing. One of the great rich­es I’ve found in the Charis­mat­ic stream is that it push­es and stretch­es me into a sort of gen­tle bold­ness. I learn to ask if I can pray with some­one, or to offer encour­age­ment or a word I may be sens­ing. The move­ment of the Spir­it can be pow­er­ful for sure, but it is also play­ful and, dare I say, fun. 

I recent­ly heard about a group of charis­mat­ic nuns who went to pray for chil­dren at a Methodist church. With much patience and grace, they shared that they want­ed to lay their hands on the chil­dren and ask for God to bring heal­ing; with gen­tle­ness, they explained a lit­tle about what might hap­pen. A friend who was there recount­ed that the room was so peace­ful that any­one who walked by would sure­ly have known that good things were hap­pen­ing and that God was present. 

What is your wor­ship­ing com­mu­ni­ty open to? In times both planned and spon­ta­neous, do you inten­tion­al­ly cre­ate space and oppor­tu­ni­ty for the Spir­it to be at work in your ser­vice and life togeth­er? Our desires for pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, per­fec­tion, and con­trol in a ser­vice can be the great­est hin­drance to the work­ings of the Spir­it. God often gives us free­dom to for­go the won­ders of the Spir­it to pur­sue our own ends. 

Let me offer a few words of cau­tion. Lis­ten­ing and respond­ing to the move­ments of the Spir­it should nev­er be used to assert pow­er, con­trol, and/​or manip­u­la­tion over oth­ers. While there are many sim­i­lar ways in which the Spir­it works with peo­ple, our expe­ri­ences should nev­er be used judg­men­tal­ly to draw lines or demand that oth­ers have the same expe­ri­ences as we have. We trust God with peo­ple. God is far too cre­ative to be boxed up. 

Avoid the prac­tice of chas­ing after expe­ri­ences as if they were a con­sumer prod­uct. We’re learn­ing to sub­mit our lives to God’s rule. When the Spir­it reveals won­ders and pow­ers of God’s king­dom on earth, it should always ush­er us into greater love of God and neigh­bor. The point is nev­er to idol­ize the out­ward sign. 

Our task is to cre­ate space for God to have his way in our ser­vices. When the Spir­it of God shows up in qui­et, gen­tle ways, we say Thank you.” If God choos­es to show up in pow­er­ful and won­der­ful ways, we say Thank you.” And, when we are open to God and our sens­es are not tick­led and it feels dry and bar­ren, we say Thank you.” 

The Incar­na­tion­al Tra­di­tion
Sacra­men­tal Life: Encoun­ter­ing the invis­i­ble God in the vis­i­ble world

Noth­ing is out­side the realm of God’s purview and lov­ing care. God is with us — in every­thing. The incar­na­tion­al tra­di­tion helps us rip through the divide of sacred and sec­u­lar. God in work and play. God in the ordi­nary and mun­dane. God in our sacra­ments and songs. God in nature and suf­fer­ing. God in our thoughts and inter­ac­tions with oth­ers. This stream can have a pro­found effect on how we view and live our lives. Some­times it is real­ly just as sim­ple as tun­ing our aware­ness to what God is already doing. There is so much to this tra­di­tion, but let me offer a few ways this might be help­ful to our church­es today. 

Work Life

Our soci­ety has a bad habit of assign­ing val­ue and worth to peo­ple based on their jobs; con­se­quent­ly, many are caught in a destruc­tive cycle of chas­ing achieve­ment in order to gain iden­ti­ty and esteem. Work is not only a means to an end, nor is it a place to gain iden­ti­ty. We are beloved chil­dren of God — that is who we are, that is our iden­ti­ty. Work is a holy endeav­or, a co-labor­ing process with God. And so we learn to invite God to be with us in our work, allow­ing our dai­ly labors to become a prayer­ful exchange. We work before, and for, an audi­ence of one. 

Sacra­ments and Liturgy 

For some church­es, the entire Sun­day gath­er­ing is cen­tered on the sacra­ments. There are also church­es that almost entire­ly avoid them. Again, we begin where we are. 

Of course, the place to grow in these prac­tices is in the heart, patient­ly and respect­ful­ly attend­ing to God’s work in our phys­i­cal world, avoid­ing rote tra­di­tions void of mean­ing and sig­nif­i­cance. Giv­ing peo­ple con­tin­u­al expla­na­tion and guid­ance as to the rea­son and inten­tion behind prac­tices is often need­ed. For some peo­ple unfa­mil­iar with these ancient prac­tices of Christ-fol­low­ers, sacra­ments and litur­gy will lead to won­der­ful­ly mean­ing­ful discoveries. 

Our cul­ture, in gen­er­al, is large­ly removed from ancient, rit­u­al­is­tic prac­tices and many are redis­cov­er­ing the silence and beau­ty of them. For me there’s a free­dom I find in join­ing the his­toric cho­rus of faith­ful Jesus-fol­low­ers through­out the ages. We don’t have to be tied to hav­ing to come up with some­thing new, we can rest in trust­ed words and prac­tices, col­lec­tive­ly open­ing our hearts, minds, and bod­ies to God. 

Nature

Every­one, Chris­t­ian or not, knows there is some­thing very spe­cial about nature. The world is God’s play­ground, his cre­ative art on dis­play, the will of the Father in inter­ac­tive form. In the cre­at­ed order, it is the incar­na­tion that speaks so pro­found­ly to our souls. 

One thing very help­ful for our spir­i­tu­al growth is to sim­ply val­i­date and encour­age prayer­ful­ly play­ing in God’s cre­ation. For many peo­ple a good entry point into the spir­i­tu­al dis­ci­plines is as sim­ple as sit­ting next to a stream read­ing a book, tak­ing a nap under a tree, or walk­ing with a friend. Com­mu­ni­ties in the habit of spend­ing time togeth­er out­doors cre­ate won­der­ful spaces to remind and teach each oth­er about God’s glo­ry on display. 

The Social Jus­tice Tra­di­tion
Com­pas­sion­ate Life: Extend­ing com­pas­sion in every sphere of life

Many denom­i­na­tions have a beau­ti­ful and rich his­to­ry of putting this tra­di­tion into prac­tice. Behind near­ly every great move­ment for social change in this coun­try there have been peo­ple of faith, in the fore­front and in the back, often­times for many years, work­ing and advo­cat­ing for the cause of the oppressed and disenfranchised. 

Much good is cur­rent­ly being done. In vir­tu­al­ly all towns and cities across this coun­try you will find var­i­ous help efforts of the Church: home­less shel­ters, food pantries, addic­tion treat­ment cen­ters, children’s ser­vices, refugee and traf­fick­ing ser­vices to name a few. These are often ful­ly inte­grat­ed into soci­ety and respect­ed as change agents for the good of human­i­ty. Inter­na­tion­al­ly, we find Chris­tians all around bring­ing aid to myr­i­ad press­ing issues: star­va­tion, human traf­fick­ing, access to clean water, HIV care, empow­er­ing small busi­ness­es, edu­ca­tion, and women’s rights. Good work is being done, but great need remains. 

At least from an infor­ma­tion­al per­spec­tive, peo­ple in our soci­ety are more cued into the injus­tice and suf­fer­ing of the world than ever before. By and large, at least at some lev­el, peo­ple want to be involved. Prob­a­bly in no oth­er age has the Church had more resources and access to car­ry out the man­dates of Jesus to care for the poor and oppressed. 

While the streams blend and flow one into the oth­er, we should make a dis­tinc­tion between mak­ing con­verts and feed­ing, cloth­ing, serv­ing, and advo­cat­ing for those on the mar­gins. Peo­ple are right­ly wary of bait and switch” meth­ods, and while being of help to the world and one’s neigh­bor can pro­vide a nat­ur­al way to invite peo­ple into the Jesus life, we should be clear as to what we are about. Engag­ing in ser­vice work under the guise of com­pas­sion, while hid­ing our pri­ma­ry agen­da to make peo­ple Chris­tians, is not only poten­tial­ly manip­u­la­tive and dis­hon­est, it dimin­ish­es our ser­vice. When prac­tic­ing the social jus­tice tra­di­tion, we learn once more to trust God with peo­ple, and that some­times ser­vice alone is enough. 

Let me offer a few sug­ges­tions for groups who want to grow in the work of compassion. 

Humil­i­ty

Being in need and allow­ing oth­ers to help is extreme­ly vul­ner­a­ble. If you are seek­ing to prac­tice the social jus­tice tra­di­tion, but would nev­er ask for or receive help from some­one else, this might be a good place for you to start. Let­ting oth­ers help you will birth empa­thy and also bring aware­ness of some of the dan­ger­ous pow­er equa­tions that can form. If what we offer to the least of these” is tru­ly an act of ser­vice to Jesus, it is holy ground and we should tread light­ly. When peo­ple allow us into their lives, they are extend­ing one of the great­est hon­ors a per­son can give anoth­er, and we should treat it as such. True ser­vice isn’t about reliev­ing our guilt or gain­ing sta­tus or worth as a helper; it is about walk­ing the path of Jesus — with Jesus. 

Lis­ten­ing

You would be sur­prised how often ser­vice work is done with­out tak­ing the time to ask and lis­ten to what peo­ple actu­al­ly want or need. His­to­ry is full of exam­ples of peo­ple try­ing to help oth­ers and end­ing up doing more harm than good because they sim­ply failed to ask what was actu­al­ly need­ed. In times of cri­sis, deliv­er­ing life-sav­ing goods is typ­i­cal­ly the first pri­or­i­ty. But, in Amer­i­ca, often the great­est need of the poor and dis­en­fran­chised is to be heard and treat­ed with respect and dig­ni­ty. One sim­ple way to care for peo­ple is just by learn­ing the sto­ries they hold. In doing so we human­ize the oth­er, break­ing down walls. So when you go to the shel­ter to serve meals, maybe the most sig­nif­i­cant thing you do won’t be giv­ing food, but rather tak­ing time to share a meal with oth­ers and listen. 

For some, lis­ten­ing to oth­ers begins to grow a deep aware­ness of the posi­tions of priv­i­lege we may hold, reveal­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ties our soci­ety affords to some and deprives to oth­ers. Ser­vice forms us, grow­ing a life of com­pas­sion for God’s chil­dren. If we’re brave enough, we will become attuned to the way God’s heart aches over the injus­tice and bro­ken­ness of the world. 

Empow­er­ing

Anoth­er way in which our efforts to help can actu­al­ly hurt is when we inad­ver­tent­ly cre­ate and rein­force us and them” pow­er struc­tures, dimin­ish­ing the strengths and trea­sures of a local com­mu­ni­ty and cre­at­ing a dynam­ic of learned helplessness. 

Seek to empow­er peo­ple. Don’t dis­par­age small or hid­den ser­vice. Every­one has some­thing to give. And, don’t under­es­ti­mate the role of prayer. For some groups, devot­ing the next six months to gath­er each week to pray for an issue or peo­ple group would be a won­der­ful way to start. 

It is of great val­ue for a con­gre­ga­tion to take time to prayer­ful­ly dis­cern the work God would have for you as a peo­ple. Who is on the mar­gins in your own com­mu­ni­ties? Who is suf­fer­ing, shut-in, ignored, and for­got­ten? Who is not safe? If you real­ly want to dig deep, ask who is not wel­comed to join you in wor­ship on a Sun­day morning. 

A For­ma­tion­al Church

The streams give us a glimpse into the many ways God has been at work among his peo­ple. They entice us to explore the Chris­t­ian faith beyond our cul­tur­al and denom­i­na­tion­al lines. They lay fer­tile ground for the trans­for­ma­tion of our lives into the image of Jesus. They give shape to the var­i­ous dis­ci­plines we’re invit­ed to practice. 

How do we help fos­ter an envi­ron­ment where wor­ship­ing com­mu­ni­ties prac­ti­cal­ly and inten­tion­al­ly engage each oth­er in becom­ing fol­low­ers and appren­tices of Jesus, co-labor­ing with God in gen­uine trans­for­ma­tion: a gath­ered peo­ple for whom silence and prayer, holi­ness and com­pas­sion, are nat­ur­al respons­es to life; a peo­ple filled with the Spir­it, woven in the Word, pro­claim­ing the good­ness of God with our very lives; a peo­ple aware and liv­ing out incar­na­tion­al lives? From these train­ing grounds, these gym­na­si­ums for the spir­i­tu­al life, how might we become known the world over for our love?

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Help­ing peo­ple like you abide with Jesus is why we post resources like this one. Always ad-free, Ren­o­varé is sup­port­ed by those who know soul-care is vital. Would you join us?

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Pho­to by Luke Vodell on Unsplash

Originally published May 2016