Read with .

Journey through four soul-shaping, Christ-centered books.

October 2021 – June 2022.

Membership Includes

Notebook Reading schedule, email reminders, study guides, podcasts, and essays.
Lighthouse Exclusive content from the author or seasoned guide.
Notebook Thoughtful discussion with other Book Club members.

This Season’s Soul-Stretching Books

Chosen by the Renovaré Book Club Selection Committee

Deeply formed life
Session 1 October 4–November 19
The Deeply Formed Life : Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus
by Rich Villodas
Rich villodas Facilitated by Rich Villodas
Journal of john woolman cover
Session 2 December 6–February 4
The Journal and Major Essays of John Woolman
by Phillips P. Moulton
Jon r kershner Facilitated by Jon R. Kershner
Session 3 February 8–April 10
A Burning in My Bones : The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, Translator of The Message
by Winn Collier
Winn Collier Facilitated by Winn Collier
Renovation of the heart 20th
Session 4 April 12–June 5
Renovation of the Heart : Putting On the Character of Christ
by Dallas Willard
Gary Casual Copy Facilitated by Gary Moon + Renovaré Ministry Team Members

Meet the Facilitators

Arends Headshot Couch1

Carolyn Arends

Overall Faciliator

Carolyn oversees the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation as well as several other Renovaré initiatives, including the Book Club. She is also a recording artist, speaker, author, and college
Read full bio >

Rich villodas

Rich Villodas

Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large multiracial church with more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens. Rich holds a Master of Divinity
Read full bio >

Jon r kershner

Jon R. Kershner

Dr. Jon R. Kershner, a Washington native, earned a B.A. in Christian Ministries from George Fox University and a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology from
Read full bio >

Winn Collier

Winn Collier

Winn Collier loves the church and beauty and all the things that make up being human in God’s verdant, sacred world. A pastor for over 25 years, Winn was the
Read full bio >

Gary Casual Copy

Gary Moon

Gary W. Moon, M.Div. Ph.D. served as the founding Executive Director of the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture and the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation at Westmont
Read full bio >

Past participants said

The most meaningful thing about the Renovaré Book Club was...

Exposure to diverse thoughts and opinions. Incredible depth of some respondents.”
Being introduced to books that I normally would not read. It stretched me spiritually. It was a growing and great experience.”
It broadened my diversity experience in the Church.”
Finding like-minded Christians trying to thrive in a consumer-driven environment”
Insights I gained into love, perseverance thru suffering, thankfulness, non-violence, understanding the thinking of ancient times…”
How these books helped me to more fully understand the presence of God in my life and begin to include Him more in my daily experiences.”
Personal growth and that of others in the club. Our group members’ relationship to Jesus went into overdrive!”
Being challenged to rethink my walk with the Lord and draw closer to him through more meaningful prayer and transformation of my mind.”
In addition to reading four books (yay!), I have noticed my shift in thinking.… becoming closer to Jesus. It was very beneficial.”
Meeting with a group of people who were reading and wrestling with the material alongside me. It made for rich conversations. Others took notice of things that I missed.”
Person Posting Online

A Safe Space to Go Deeper

The Internet can be a scary place sometimes, especially when it comes to discussing close-to-the-heart topics. The Renovaré Book Club strives to create a space where people ask without fear, seek understanding, and honor one another even if there is disagreement.

You can choose to participate in a members-only online forum, an in-person or online small group, or no group at all and simply follow along and enjoy the resources. It's up to you.

Meaningful Small Group Discussions

Members may optionally join a small discussion group run by a volunteer coordinator. These video or in-person groups typically meet once a month at different times.

(In-person meeting protocols are decided by the volunteer coordinators and members, who are encouraged to abide by local health recommendations. Renovaré connects coordinators with members but does not oversee groups.)

View Times & Locations

Join the 2021-22 Renovaré Book Club

Questions & Answers


What is Renovaré?

Founded by Celebration of Discipline author Richard J. Foster, Renovaré is a Christian nonprofit that creates resources and kindles communities which help people become more like Jesus. Learn more about Renovaré.

What are the benefits of Membership?

Membership includes reading schedule with email reminders, study guides, podcasts, essays and a members-only discussion forum where you can interact with other members and the Renovaré team members leading the sessions. Membership also includes access to volunteer-led meet-up groups — virtual or in-person (when safe) — in select areas.

Timing (Start Date, Ship Dates)

When does the Book Club begin? Can I join anytime?

Our 2021 – 22 season began on October 4, 2021. You may join any time during the season and have access to the bonus features of all four books (articles and podcasts, as well as discussion board conversations). 

Due to the event-like nature of the Book Club, memberships are not returnable/​refundable. Thanks for your understanding and for your support of the work of Renovaré.

How long will I have access to the Book Club resources and discussions?

Once you join, you will have perpetual access to this season’s resources and access to the discussion forums throughout the summer. We leave everything accessible on the Book Club dashboard through early September. 

Once we archive all of the resources, we send members a link to access them going forward. We do not preserve the discussion boards past the summer.


Are books included with Membership?

Members must purchase or otherwise obtain this season’s books.

Books may be borrowed from your local library, purchased at your local bookseller, or purchased using Amazon or CBD links on the Book Club purchase page (links support Renovaré). 

All of this season’s books are also available in ebook format through online retailers as well. (Please note: The ebook edition we’re using of John Woolman’s Journal is only available through the publisher link on the purchase page — the discount for Book Club members also applies to the ebook).

Does it matter which editions of the books I use?

Readers often find it easier to use the recommended editions, as page numbers and other details can be edition-specific. If you use an edition other than the one recommended, you may need to do some adaptation. 

Note: We are also aware that our readers are increasingly using ebook versions of the texts, and we will do our best to make the reading assignments make sense for the digital versions of our chosen editions as well.

I have an older version of Renovation of the Heart. Do I need the new one?

In the case of Renovation of the Heart, our understanding is that the new anniversary edition includes a new forward and epilogue, but the main text should be largely unchanged from previous editions. Page numbers will vary, but otherwise the older edition will work just fine.

Local Meet Ups

Virtual and in-person groups: How do they work? When do they meet? Does Renovaré facilitate them?

We have been greatly encouraged by the local communities, led by our wonderful member-volunteers.

Due to varying local COVID-19 guidelines, we are again offering our volunteer hosts the option of hosting an online-only meet-up (open to members across the globe) or a local in-person meet-up. Renovaré publishes the list of volunteers and the meet-up times and days but does not have a direct role in hosting the groups.

That said, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your membership fee covers the study guide, podcasts, essays, weekly reminders, and access to the online community. Meet-ups, whether virtual or in-person, are a free bonus to the Book Club made possible by volunteers. Because of that, Renovaré cannot accept responsibility for individuals’ experiences — whether as host or participant — in a Book Club group.

New volunteers are signing up to lead all the time, so do continue to check the listings as we draw nearer to the start date. If you would like to volunteer to lead a group online or in-person, please use this Group Coordinator Application Form.

We expect our Book Club members to treat one another as Jesus would, with the highest level of honor and respect. Any sort of abuse or harassment will not be tolerated — whether in-person or online.

Thank you!

How do I find out if there is a meetup group in my area?

A map is available at ren​o​vare​.org/​b​o​o​k​c​l​u​b​/​l​o​c​a​tions. You must be a member of the Book Club to contact local volunteer hosts about meet-up times and locations. You will receive a special link that has host contact information in your welcome email once you join the Club. Thanks!

How The Book Club Works

Who chooses the books?

Each year the Renovaré Book Club Selection Committee, which includes Carolyn Arends, Richard Foster, and other Renovaré team members, meets and chooses the titles for the Book Club. Dozens of new and classic books are considered and carefully narrowed down to four choices. This is an independent selection process — no publisher can pay to have its book included.

Who are the moderators of the Book Club? Can I interact with them online?

Each session has a facilitator (either the author or an expert on the book) who will help you grow as you read each title. They provide bonus articles and podcast messages about the book, but they do not engage on the discussion forums. You will have an opportunity to post a question for the facilitator that might be included in each session’s third and final podcast/​webcast, which is driven by members’ questions.

Our Renovaré staff works together to moderate the discussion board and engages as they are able. 

Finally, our regional virtual and in-person meet-up groups are coordinated by volunteer Book Club members.

How do I access downloads and participate in the discussions?

All resources and discussion are through a special Book Club members website. Members receive their login information via email within a half an hour of joining the Book Club.

What is the time commitment when I join the Book Club? Do I have to participate at a certain time or day of the week?

The Renovaré Book Club can fit just about any schedule. We read each book over six weeks but include a prep week at the start and a wrap-up week at the end, so there is plenty of cushion. The reading assignments” are not more than 50 pages per week.

At the beginning of each book, our members receive an outline of the proposed reading schedule. Every Monday, we send out an update that includes: 

  • A reminder of that week’s reading assignment 
  • A supplementary resource (usually an article or a podcast) from that book’s facilitator 
  • (Sometimes) optional bonus resources for members who want to go deeper 
  • A discussion question for those who wish to engage in online discussion.

All of the resources, once posted, are available all season. There are no live” online discussions (members can post at any time), and you may engage as much or as little as you would like online.

Members who participate in a virtual or in-person meet-up led by a volunteer coordinator will gather once-a-month at a time and day determined by the volunteer. 

Can I use the Club for my pre-existing book club or small group?

We do not have a flat-fee licensing system for our current Book Club. We do offer an expanding collection of Book Club materials from previous Book Club books that you may purchase for your group. You may find them here: Interactive Book Study Guides

That said, we’d also love it if any or all of your group were to join the 2021 – 22 season, and we can certainly set up your own online discussion forum group if you do.

Other Questions

Can I purchase a Book Club Membership as a gift for someone else?

Yes. Thank you for wanting to give a membership to the Renovaré Book Club!

At this time, if you would like to give a gift membership to the Book Club, please use the regular Join” link at ren​o​vare​.org/​b​o​o​kclub and enter your recipient’s information (name and email) with your information for billing. 

I have another question.

Justine Olawsky and Kristy Lahoda are glad to help. Email them at [email protected]​renovare.​org.

Journey through four soul-shaping, Christ-centered books.

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Next Book Begins February 8