the objective

The Church Renewal Lab has been designed to come along side any congregation seeking to revitalize ministry by regaining a focus on their missional calling. Congregations participating in the Renewal Lab will begin a journey toward:

  • Identifying a unique mission and vision developing tools for making more and better disciples.
  • Becoming Gospel-centered in everything they do. Changing the atmosphere through congregational health.
  • Implementing the priorities of the Acts 2:42-47 N.T. church.


The Renewal Lab is a two-year journey toward establishing vibrant missional faith communities by providing:

  • Cohorts of 5-10 churches journeying together.
  • Quarterly renewal training (The Learning Labs).
  • A three-step process: Listen. Imagine. Do.
  • Peer Learning Environments
  • Team formation to help guide the renewal process
  • Congregational Involvement
  • Multiple coaches for various aspects of ministry
  • Unpacking the essentials and tools of renewal


Every congregation’s journey through the Renewal Lab process is unique to that congregation. The renewal process is grounded in Several Key Activities, sustained by Four Essentials, and devoted to One Goal.

  • One Goal: The One Goal is to be MISSIONAL.
  • Four Essentials: The Essentials on which the Renewal Lab focuses include - ABIDING, VISION, LEADERSHIP, and HEALTH
  • Several Key Activities: Three key activities direct the Lab—LISTEN, IMAGINE, and DO

Renewal Lab Team

Four individuals comprise the core teaching and creative team. Additional content is taught by guest lecturers who participate in various Learning Labs.




Vander Ploeg


Learning Labs

Learning labs are the heart of the Renewal Lab experience. Each summer new cohorts of Renewal Lab congregations begin their two-year journey of revitalization with the first of eight quarterly learning labs. Each lab has a particular renewal focus (see below).

At each learning lab pastors (and/or a key congregational leader) gather for a Thursday and Friday training event focused on practical aspects of implementing the renewal process. Their congregational Renewal Lab teams join them on Saturday for a retreat which includes worship, training, departmental coaching and team visioning.

Learning Lab 1

LISTEN: Beginning the Renewal Journey

Learning Lab 2

TELL: Gospel-telling...the Heart of the Renewal Journey

Learning Lab 3

FORM: “Prioritizing Faith Formation in the Renewal Journey” (focus on discipleship)

Learning Lab 4

BLESS: Living Into a biblical passion for justice and mercy in the renewal journey

Learning Lab 5

MOBILIZE: “Mobilizing the Renewal Vision”

Learning Lab 6

CONTINUE: “Developing systems, structures and various activities leading to a continuous process of renewal”
A more complete description of the Church Renewal Lab’s processes can be FOUND HERE.
Churches Involved

Renewal Stories

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."

Rev. Dan Kinnas

Breath of Fresh Air

I knew I had to do something different but I had no idea what to do or where to turn...the Renewal Lab was the first breath of fresh air blown into that discouragement...Change is hard, and I don’t yet know how it will turn out—but now I have resources and help, and hope. What I have been introduced to (both ideas and people) has changed the way I approach ministry.

Rev. Chris Rea

What We Needed

"Thank you for all the work of the Church Renewal Lab!  It has been exactly what we needed at Beckwith Hills.  Not only that, but it has been a great benefit to me as a pastor as I'm learning things about leadership that are long overdue.  Keep up the good work!

Rev. Rick Pinckney

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."

Rev. Tom Baird

Renewal Lab  Application

Registration for the new cohort launching each June opens September 1 and closes April 30. A maximum of 12 churches are admitted into each cohort.  When the maximum number of churches enrolls enrollment closes.

Qualifications for registration

  • A desire to be more mission-focused in all aspects of ministry.
  • A willingness to invest energy and prayer into a visioning process.
  • A board of elders or council willing to take risks attendant to change.
  • A committed core of individuals willing to serve on a renewal team.
  • A believe that Christ can use your congregation to make a redemptive difference in your community and beyond.

Costs of registration

Churches are asked to contribute approximately $3,000 per year depending on church size and location. More exact pricing can be found by contacting us. A variety of resources are available to help financially struggling congregations.  No church should choose not to participate based solely on finances.  Please contact Keith Doornbos to discuss this further. Payments are made on a quarterly basis with invoices sent just prior to each learning lab.

If you would like more information about the Church Renewal Lab or the application process please contact us.

Renewal Lab - Main page