Step 1: Listen (first six months)
In the listening portion of the lab we learn four direction learning.
- From above – what is God’s Word saying about his will and his way?
- From among – what is the congregation saying about their gifts and passions?
- From outside – what is the community saying about needs and opportunities?
- From within – what is the Holy Spirit saying about our unique calling?
Step 2: Imagine (second six months)
After the four direction listening it is time to start to dream and imagine what God is calling us to do.
Renewal Lab teams will identify:
- God’s mission in His world
- God’s vision for our church
- Values that will sustain the vision
- Objectives that flow from the vision
- Annual goals that propel the vision
Step 3: Do (final year)
Following the listening and the imagining it is time to begin acting. Church renewal cannot happen if a church never put the planning into action. The goal is that the vision will be implemented in the life of the congregation. The Church Renewal Lab will walk alongside of your church for one-year while working out of the commitments from listening and imagining.
Eight Learning Labs
The three step process is propelled forward by quarterly gatherings called “Learning Labs”. Quarterly pastors gather Thursday and Friday from 8:30-4:30 and Renewal Lab teams join on Saturday from 9:30-3:30. Regional cohorts (cohorts beyond a three hour driving range of Calvin Seminary) meet quarterly on an overnight Thursday through Friday pastor’s retreat with Renewal Lab teams joining on Saturday. Each summer a new Lab rotation begins with the following themes:
Lab 1: Lead (June, year 1) – leadership for renewal
Lab 2: Begin (October, year 1) – essentials of renewal
Lab 3: Tell (January, year 1) – gospel-telling for renewal
Lab 4: Form (March, year 1) – faith formation in renewal
Lab 5: Mobilize (June, year 2) – implementating renewal
Lab 6: Bless (October, year 2) – justice & mercy in renewal
Lab 7: Continue (January, year 2) – sustainability and renewal
Lab 8: Celebrate (March, year 2) – stories of renewal