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Renovation of the Church

What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation

by Kent Carlson, Mike Lueken

Co-pastors Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken tell the story of how God took their thriving, consumer-oriented church and transformed it into a modest congregation of unformed believers committed to the growth of the spirit – even when it meant a decline in numbers.

As Kent and Mike found out, a decade of major change is not easy on a church. Oak Hills Church, from the pastoral staff to the congregation, had to confront addiction to personal ambition, resist consumerism, and reorient their lives around the teachings of Jesus. Their renewed focus on spiritual formation over numerical growth triggered major changes in the content of their sermons, the tenor of their worship services, and the reason for their outreach. They lost members.

But the health and spiritual depth of their church today is a testimony of God’s transforming work and enduring faithfulness to the people he pursues.

Honest and humble, this is Kent and Mike’s story of a church they love, written to inspire and challenge other churches to let God rewrite their stories as well. Read it for the church you love.



The honest story of two courageous pastors who dared to change the ethos of their church from a membership focus to a discipleship focus, from catering to consumers to creating Christ-followers. Their story will inspire you.
James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God

About the Authors