Thank you for your interest in Fellowship of the Burning Heart. This page is to help you discern if applying is right for you. At the bottom, you’ll find a list of available groups, and an option to apply or join the waitlist. Note that most most groups are filled but new ones are slowly being added.

A Welcome Note from the Director of Community Life

Many Christians who connect with Renovaré long for a deeper life with God. 

They discovered — through Scripture, spiritual classics, and the work of people like Dallas Willard and Richard Foster — the availability of the Kingdom of God. They found that beyond just right belief and behavior, Jesus offers us ongoing interactive friendship. 

This shift from frantic life for God to grace-filled life with God is enlivening. Yet it can also come with a sense of isolation — something like Elijah in the cave (“am I the only one, Lord!”)

Thankfully, God has many others on a similar path. At Renovaré, our desire for years has been to create a community expression to connect these like-hearted folks. 

So a group of us began to pray, listen, brainstorm, and dream.

Our goal was to craft something simple, self-sustaining, and member-led. Something involving a serious commitment without being time-intensive. Something that could be lifegiving for years to come. 

As ideas began to take form, we piloted what follows with over 100 people for more than a year. We gathered feedback, tweaked, and simplified. God was faithful and surprised and delighted us along the way. What emerged feels special, and has been lifegiving for many. 

It is with hopeful anticipation that we invite you to thoughtfully read what’s below and prayerfully discern if Fellowship of the Burning Heart is something God may have for you in this season of your life.

Nathan Foster, Renovaré
Director of Community Life +
Fellowship of the Burning Heart


Questions & Answers

What is Fellowship of the Burning Heart? 

It is a dispersed community of Jesus’ friends who long for deeper intimacy with the Triune God. 

Fellowship of the Burning Heart’s primary purpose is to help members grow as disciples of Jesus — for their transformation, the world’s good, and God’s everlasting glory. 

What does it mean to be a member? What is the commitment?

Fellowship of the Burning Heart is a tangible way to seek deeper intimacy and transformation in Jesus by making a renewable one-year commitment to: 

  • the Renovaré Covenant
  • Fellowship of the Burning Heart values
  • meet monthly in a Listening Group

What is the Renovaré Covenant? 

In utter dependence upon Jesus Christ as my ever-living Savior, Teacher, Lord, and Friend, I will seek continual renewal through spiritual exercises, spiritual gifts, and acts of service.

What are the Fellowship of the Burning Heart values?

  1. We value a high Christology regarding the person and work of Jesus Christ. 
  2. We value Scripture as a sure guide for growth into Christlikeness. 
  3. We value worship and prayer as central in our life.
  4. We value people as God’s image bearers. In our interactions we resist the temptation to manage impressions, leverage relationships, and fix one another.
  5. We value community as vital to our transformation into Christlikeness. We offer availability and vulnerability as we honor each person’s unique journey with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
  6. We value listening. As a community we seek to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and one another. This facilitates a welcoming and confidential culture where it is safe to know and be known.
  7. We value honesty and openness, seeking to love with wise boundaries and discern without judgement. 
  8. We value humility and the freedom it brings. We cherish gratitude, joy, laughter, creativity, and lightheartedness.
  9. We value loving respect. We are for one another. 
    We give encouragement as often as possible.
    We share advice once in a great while.
    We bring correction only when absolutely necessary.
    We condemn never.
  10. We value hospitality of heart, seeking to learn from our differences. 
  11. We value stability. The Renovaré Covenant and our monthly Listening Group help us live into this spiritual practice.
  12. We value various local expressions of spiritual formation efforts—relationships, families, small groups, and churches. Spiritual formation always has a local address.

Practically, what does it mean to commit to the Renovaré Covenant and Fellowship of the Burning Heart values?

A vital part of belonging to Fellowship of the Burning Heart is living into the Renovaré Covenant. One specific way we do this is by choosing a word of intention and one or two spiritual practices to engage with for the year. 

Fellowship of the Burning Heart values serve as a mutual guide for how we intend to be with one another.

What is a Listening Group?

It is a unique small group to help facilitate listening to God, to others, and to our own hearts. 

For one year, the same four to six members commit to meet monthly for two hours (online or in-person). While each group has a Coordinator who will help guide the process, the structure is designed for members to take turns facilitating (don’t worry, it’s easy).

How is a Listening Group distinct from other small groups?

There are a variety of helpful small groups for Christians — Bible studies, prayer groups, book clubs, spiritual formation groups, etc. We celebrate them all. 

A Fellowship of the Burning Heart Listening Group is unique in its structure. It intentionally fosters space to: 

  • hold prayerful silence
  • listen without fixing or giving advice
  • share with others on a similar journey what you and God are working on together
  • grow in your capacity to hear God

Is Fellowship of the Burning Heart a good fit for me?

Burning Heart is uniquely designed for followers of Jesus who are longing for a conversational relationship with God and are willing to be vulnerable with others. Each of us has different needs and seasons, and this may or may not fit where you are right now. Below are some statements to help you discern.

Are you drawn to experience and commit to a group where you…

  • …sit with others in extended times of prayerful silence
  • …listen without interrupting, asking questions, or giving advice
  • …have grace for differing viewpoints
  • …resist the temptation to control or change others
  • …choose and engage with specific spiritual practices
  • …share honestly about your journey with God
  • …receive prayer and pray aloud for others
  • …listen for God’s voice and, when appropriate, share what you sense God is saying
  • …focus on first things — love of God and love of neighbor

If you respond to these with a heartfelt Yes!” or I’m willing!”, Fellowship of the Burning Heart may be a good fit for you.

What are the benefits of becoming a member? 

  • A way to intentionally commit alongside others to grow spiritually 
  • Thoughtful placement in a Listening Group (which has a Certified Coordinator to help guide the process)
  • A welcome kit with a custom leather journal and Fellowship of the Burning Heart booklet
  • Training videos, webinars, and other member-specific online resources
  • Access to regional Renovaré Burning Heart retreats 
  • The opportunity to journey long-term with the same people. (While joining starts with a one-year commitment, many members choose to recommit for years to come.)

Is there a fee to join? What does the fee cover?

There is a one-time fee of $100 due upon acceptance, which helps cover administrative and materials costs. 

How long does my membership last? 

Membership is good for as long as Fellowship of the Burning Heart exists, offering you the potential for a long-term community. 

Your membership begins with a one-year commitment to meet monthly in a Listening Group. Each year, you’ll have the opportunity to decide to recommit to the same Listening Group, take a break, or join or start another Listening Group. Regardless, your membership is valid for a lifetime without additional fees.

Are there in-person gatherings besides the Listening Group? 

Each year we offer optional regional Burning Heart Retreats specifically for Burning Heart members, available at an additional cost. (Currently these are on hold until it’s safe to gather.)

What is the application process?

After you apply, you’ll be contacted by a Coordinator who will meet with you virtually or in-person to discern if Fellowship of the Burning Heart is a good fit for you in this season. If you and the Coordinator determine it is a fit, we’ll email you with next steps and you’ll receive a welcome packet in the mail. 

Note: The application will take a little time to complete. It includes these questions:

  • Describe why you want to be a part of Fellowship of the Burning Heart; what attracts you to this kind of community?
  • Briefly describe some qualities of a healthy small group participant. (This question is required.)
  • Short bio — what do you want the Coordinator and others in the group to know about you? (250 words or fewer)

What if I have another question?

Email us at [email protected]​renovare.​org.

To Apply, Choose A Group That Has Space Available:

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