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 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 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. 

Are there in-per­son gath­er­ings besides the Lis­ten­ing Group? 

We do offer option­al Burn­ing Heart Retreats and Burn­ing Heart Coor­di­na­tor Train­ing Retreats for those inter­est­ed in mov­ing into a Coor­di­na­tor role. These are avail­able at an addi­tion­al cost.

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, once groups are filled and ready to begin, you will receive a link to final­ize your reg­is­tra­tion. At that point you will receive your Burn­ing Heart jour­nal and book­let 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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