Pastor David of First Sarnia CRC were part of our fourth Great Lakes Cohort. David was asked by a church that was considering joining the Church Renewal Lab (Grace CRC, Chatham) how the Renewal Lab benefited himself and his congregation.
This is Pastor Dave, from Sarnia First Christian Reformed Church. I was asked to share just a little testimonial of what The Renewal Lab has done for us as a church and for me personally.
I was asked why would a church want to go through The Church Renewal Lab?
For us personally, we had a sense that God had more for us and what we were currently experiencing. Through the process – and this is probably the biggest learning – we have been moved from a maintenance mindset to a missional mindset. I think when a church gets established what typically happens is that a lot of the energy of that church gets put towards maintaining what they have and you can lose a sense of why we exist as a church. Why we exist as God’s people.
What The Renewal Lab has helped us do is give us tools to rediscover that and to also find out what that actually means for us as a local church here in Sarnia. It has helped us renew our vision, mission and outreach.
We built a playground for the community. We have a couple new partnerships with organizations in and around Sarnia that have been really good so far.
We also initiated some discipleship work where I meet with somebody for one hour a week, one time a week, and we have been doing that for about 2 years now. I am getting close to about 10 people that have gone through this program. What we do is basically is study The Gospels together rediscovering it’s power for both personal transformation but also transformation for the community.
I also think The Renewal Lab has made us as a church aware of some of the issues and problems we have and given us the tools to help work on them. That has been super valuable.
What it has done for me personally?
While I jokingly said to Keith Doornbos one time, “This is everything I wish I had gotten at seminary.” It’s help me personally with a renewal of my vision and mission for ministry and helped clarify what exactly my role is as a pastor for the church.
So again, I really cannot recommend The Renewal Lab highly enough and the good work that happened through that and I wish you all God’s best and blessings as you debate and decide whether if The Renewal Lab is for you or not. But I would highly recommend it – because it is awesome.
Sarnia First Christian Reformed Church