RENEW — God’s DNA for your church

“The church has been made the depository of precious truth, and its members are not only to believe these truths, but to disseminate their glorious light to those who sit in darkness, that souls may be brought to the Sun of Righteousness. In this way they may represent Christ to the world.”

Ellen White, Signs of the Times, June 1, 1891, par. 3

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

Interconnected Principles

The Bible gives five key principles for church renewal. Like DNA in a body, they give a church God’s identity. When these proven principles are woven into the culture of a church and empowered by prayer and the Holy Spirit, they create synergistic, exponential growth.

These first three principles are critical for internal church growth. They create a healthy church filled with growing Christians who are in love with Jesus and prepared to share Him with others.

The last two are key to the external growth of the church. They are God-given means for winning souls to Christ and bringing them into fellowship with the church body.

Make no mistake about it. All five principles are as necessary for sustained church growth as complete DNA is to healthy growth in your body. If you pick and choose which ones you want to focus on, you’ll have a handicapped church. Systematically develop all five together through the power of the
Holy Spirit and you’ll experience the exhilaration of seeing God grow your church.

Up Close: The RENEW Principles

When we examine how God led the church in the past, we discover five essential church growth principles—Reflect, Empower, Nurture, Evangelize, Witness. A church that understands and implements all five of these will succeed in their divine mission. As we pray and continually practice these RENEW principles the Holy Spirit will bless us with consistent church growth.

The apostolic church was well organized, moved solidly forward, and replicated itself through church planting. Its success was due to God’s power at work through its execution of the RENEW principles. The church leaders taught the new believers to reflect upon the Word of God and His past leading. They nurtured their faith, helping them grow and mature in Christ. They empowered members by giving them positions of responsibility. The apostles intentionally trained them to be disciple-making disciples and taught them how to labor effectively for others. These disciples were connected directly to the mission and vision of the church.

These disciples were taught the “Father’s business” (Luke 2:49) and the church was structured to facilitate the ongoing salvation of souls. Everyone supported the church’s public evangelism in some way and each member witnessed personally to those they could reach. All understood the ultimate goal, a church that replicates churches.

The RENEW principles provide us with a holistic approach to ministry. The first three principles focus on the internal growth of the church. They change the church from the inside out and create healthy, growing Christ-followers. The last two principles power the external growth of the church. They call us to get out of our bubble and interact with the world around us; to win souls to Christ and bring them into the church family. When the RENEW principles are followed, the church is able to keep growing internally and externally as God pours out His Spirit and we expand into new territories.

The Seventh-day Adventist church, in its early growth, paralleled the growth in the book of Acts. It is the Seventh-day Adventist church that will be God’s final church movement. By the grace of God may we once again establish these principles in our local churches, through cooperative thinking and coordinated efforts. As this occurs in each local church, we will see the outpouring of His Spirit in great measure.

“The Holy Spirit enables [consecrated church members] to be laborers together with God.”

Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 56.