THE NEED FOR RENEWAL
The need for a church renewal movement in the North American context is everywhere apparent given that 80-85% of churches are plateaued or in decline. For many churches that decline is precipitous. A recent survey of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (one of many historic mainline denominations) revealed that the average loss of membership in declining churches has been 27.5% in the past ten years alone. Similar statistics could be found in the majority of mainline denominations.
Additionally, churches are struggling to retain their youth. A Pew Research study discovered that Reformed churches retain only 34% of their youth into adulthood. The same study noted that the average age of self-identified Christians is getting older (52) while the average age of self-identified “unaffiliated” is growing younger (36). Simply stated, the majority of North American churches are struggling as members age and ministry resources decrease. In fact, it is estimated that 75-100 churches in the U.S. are closing each week. In this challenging ecclesiastical setting, there is a need for called, trained, Gospel-focused leaders who have a passion for church renewal.
The importance of equipping skilled renewal leaders is especially apparent when considering the changing North American cultural context. Todd Bolsinger in his book CANOEING THE MOUNTAINS notes that the Western church has benefited from 1700 years of “Christendom.” During this era Christianity has held a privileged place in the culture’s community life. That epoch, Bolsinger claims, is coming to a close. He writes, “We are heading into uncharted territory and are given the charge to lead a mission where the future is nothing like the past” (Bolsinger, 2015, p. 23).
Serving leaders who develop intentional missional churches that make more and better disciples who transform lives and communities for Christ is the work of the Center for Church Renewal. The Center is an organization of undying hope believing that the Holy Spirit is actually birthing a fresh missional movement in North America which will result in a church more vibrant, more connected, more culturally aware, more loving and more transformative than has been true in generations past.
We pray and work towards this unwavering hope.
Growing Each Year!
“Taking the Church Renewal Lab journey was one of the best decisions our church has ever made. It helped us to refine and focus our missional efforts. In the last two years we have enfolded 16 new members through evangelism—more than the last three decades combined—and the number of new believers is growing each year.”
A Large Impact!
“The Church Renewal Lab has had a large impact on my ministry and leadership in the church. Through it I received great training in leadership, along with materials and connections to continue that education. Even more importantly, my time in the Renewal Lab confirmed basic ministry passions in my own heart. These passions for discipleship and gospel-centered preaching have given clarity of direction in my ministry, and have filtered down into the communities I’ve served in.”
Exactly what we needed
Beckwith Hills CRC,
Grand Rapids MI