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Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Bobby Harrington

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It is just as true today as it has ever been, apart from Jesus people are lost. How are we going to reach them? It is also true that God expects us to grow in our faith and maturity in Christ. How are we accomplishing that?

The answer to both questions is the same answer – disciple-making.

There is no more worthy purpose of the church than to make disciples of the nations. One of our biggest hindrances to this is that too few Christians have been intentionally discipled. The result is a generation that has no model in hand to use to disciple other people. This leaves many Christians desiring to make disciples but uncertain of what it looks like.

What are we doing to turn this ship and re-engage our churches with healthy, biblical disciple-making approaches that are simple and reproducible?

Renew’s mission is to fill that gap, answer that question, and help congregations and individual Christians embrace approaches to discipleship and disciple-making for everyday people.

Whether you are just starting out and need some help and instruction or you have made many disciples and need some encouragement, we invite you to Renew’s annual Gathering. This is an event for those who want to turn the corner into a better future that is driven by Christ’s call and commission for us to make disciples.

This event is held November 6th in Franklin, Tennessee and we write this to encourage you to come. We have done our best to keep our cost low (starting at $59) to ensure as many people as possible can attend this event.

You can register here.

Please use the code WINESKINS to get the discount at checkout.

The big point we want you to hear is this. This event is for you. When we hear about events for ministry we think they are events for ministers (paid staff and elders). Christ’s commission to make disciples is for all Christians. If we would all embrace this call and be equipped to carry it out, we would see such an amazing opportunity take shape in our churches and we would each have a front row seat to watch God work!

Come to Franklin this November and hear from people like Dave Clayton of Ethos in Nashville. Dave has made efforts to reach the greater Nashville area, calling on Christians in the city to fasting and prayer. Hear from Jim Putman whose church of over 6000 has planted 10 other churches, 8 of which have grown to over 1000, half of which are formerly unchurched people. Gain insights from Mark Moore, teaching pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley where they baptized over 3500 last year. If you have never heard of Shadonkeh Johnson, we want you to know what he is doing in West Africa. Fourteen years ago God used him to begin a movement that has grown to between 700,000 and 800,000 people, 70% of which were not involved in church before. We could also mention people like Matthew Bates, Orpheus Hayward, and Gary Johnson. Gary is doing much needed work on developing healthy elderships.

This event can change your life and change your congregation as we desire to participate in a movement of God in North American churches. Will you join us? Will you come and see what God is doing and prayerfully consider how you might participate in what God is doing in your city?

This event isn’t just for your staff or your elders. This event is for you and we are fasting and praying that God would use November 6th to help our churches turn corners in disciple making! We ask you to do the same – fast and pray with us and see if you believe God wants you to come November 6th!

If you are interested in this mission and ministry, please see our website for many, many resources about how you can help make disciples and make disciple-makers!

When it comes to being a church leader, sometimes it feels like a choice between the way we’ve always done it and the way of uncertainty.

It’s a choice that can leave you feeling lonely, like this young minister …

“For some time now I have felt somewhat alone in ministry. Don’t get me wrong, I have great relationships with a lot of different people, but when I look around at many churches they are dying out and greying out. Many of these churches lack a passion for making disciples and seem trapped by destructive legalism. In direct contrast, several of my peers in ministry are leaning into a view of God that is informed by their own vague feelings and impressions rather than by God’s word. It felt like my options in ministry were to captain a sinking ship, or to jump onto to a vessel that is rapidly careening off course. How could these be my only two options?”

If this is how you feel, you are not alone. But let’s first add one more item. Maybe you are also convinced that a focus on Sundays services, itself, is not enough –  that great preaching, praise, and programs will no longer cut it. Even if you add in ministering to the poor during the week, it still falls short.

If this viewpoint describes you, we can help.  

At the Renew Network…

  • Discipleship comes first. We help people like you champion relational discipleship as the core mission of the church.  We show how disciple making is the path laid out by Jesus himself both in his model of ministry and in his final command.
  • Relationships are vital. We are that band of brothers and sisters – that tribe of disciple making champions – which you long for and need. Renew’s vision is relational collaboration that equips millions of disciples, disciple makers, and church planters among all ethnicities. Notice that last word. We also believe God loves ethnic diversity, so our relationships feature that too.
  • Biblical theology matters. You want substance? That’s good. We are convinced that lasting disciple making movements are built on theology that requires disciple making. Dallas Willard put it succinctly: “The Jesus we preach and the gospel we uphold will determine the disciple we get.” The true Gospel calls for a faith that trusts and follows Jesus, gives him ongoing allegiance – it requires a faithful faith.

We can help you make the difference you hunger for in this world!

David Young, Dave Clayton, Rick Oster, Matt Dabbs, and other leaders known to Wineskins have jumped in. They join leaders from other diverse backgrounds such as Ralph Moore, the founder of the Hope Chapel Movement, Shodankeh Johnson the disciple-making movement leader in West Africa whose movement has reached over 700,000 people in 14 years and New Testament scholar Matthew Bates, whose books advocating discipleship are taking the scholarly world by storm. These are just a few of the champions of Renew Network.

We have unity in the midst of diversity because we all hold to 7 values:

  • Renewing by God’s Spirit – we believe that God is the author of renewal and he invites us to join him through prayer and fasting for the Holy Spirit’s work of renewal.
  • Following God’s Reliable Word – we have a high view of scripture and know that by it we learn the ways of God with lasting clarity and conviction.  
  • Surrendering to Jesus as Lord and King –Jesus is more than just Savior; he is Lord, and Messiah (King). He calls everyone to salvation (in eternity) and discipleship (in this life).
  • Championing Disciple Making – Jesus gave us the perfect model of disciple making and these same principles from the life of Jesus should be utilized as we make disciples today.
  • Loving Like Jesus – Jesus showed us the true meaning of love and taught us that sacrificial love is the distinguishing character trait of true disciples.
  • Living in Holiness – Jesus lived differently than the world, so his disciples and those in his church will live differently than the world.
  • Leading Courageously – Renewal is led by bold and courageous leaders – who make disciples, plant churches and create disciple making movements.

Join us!

Help us in our mission to renew the teachings of Jesus to fuel disciple making.  

Here are 3 ways to get started.

  1. Renew.org – get involved with our website and newsletter, where you will find practical material for everyday disciples in the form of blogs, videos, audios, book reviews, etc.
  • Coaching – consider hiring one of our coaches.  We coach church leaders, both men and women, ministers, and elders in disciple making. We help you with practical models and methods that you can start using tomorrow.
  • National Gathering – attend our national and regional gatherings to gain further  inspiration and vision. We will help you get connected to this great mission and vision and the people championing it.

We live in a time when cultural pressures are forcing us to face numerous difficulties and complexities when it comes to following Jesus. Traditional ways are less and less effective.

It is a lonely, frustrating path without a tribe that knows the way to go. Too many will end up bitter or will just give in or give up and compromise.

The journey focused on disciple making disciples is the best and right path in the 21st century. It is a renewal of the kingdom vision of Jesus and the beauty of the local church, as God intends.

Remember the minister we described in the beginning? After six months with Renew coaching, he wrote the following:

The relationship with my coach and the guys in my group has been one of the most encouraging things I have experienced this year. God showed me there are others who desire vibrant discipleship in a biblical way within the Renew Network. It has proven to be incredibly rewarding being a participant in a group and leading a group toward genuine discipleship.

Join us, as he did!

Come to renew.org, ask us for a disciple making coach, and most especially, join our Renew Gathering on November 6 in Nashville/Franklin, TN. You aren’t alone!