Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation  -     By: Kent Carlson, Mike Lueken, Dallas Willard
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Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation

Inter-Varsity Press / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

Copastors Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken tell the story of how God took their thriving, consumer-oriented church and transformed it into a modest congregation of unformed believers committed to the growth of the spirit--even when it meant a decline in numbers.

As Kent and Mike found out, a decade of major change is not easy on a church. Oak Hills Church, from the pastoral staff to the congregation, had to confront addiction to personal ambition, resist consumerism and reorient their lives around the teachings of Jesus. Their renewed focus on spiritual formation over numerical growth triggered major changes in the content of their sermons, the tenor of their worship services, and the reason for their outreach. They lost members.

But the health and spiritual depth of their church today is a testimony of God's transforming work and enduring faithfulness to the people he loves.

Honest and humble, Renovation of the Church is Kent and Mike's story of a church they love, written to inspire and challenge other churches to let God rewrite their stories as well. Read it for the church you love.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 180
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830835466
ISBN-13: 9780830835461
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

2012 Christianity Today Book Award winner! 2011 Leadership Journal Top Book of the Year! Copastors Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken tell the story of how God took their thriving, consumer-oriented church and transformed it into a modest congregation of unformed believers committed to the growth of the spirit--even when it meant a decline in numbers. As Kent and Mike found out, a decade of major change is not easy on a church. Oak Hills Church, from the pastoral staff to the congregation, had to confront addiction to personal ambition, resist consumerism and reorient their lives around the teachings of Jesus. Their renewed focus on spiritual formation over numerical growth triggered major changes in the content of their sermons, the tenor of their worship services, and the reason for their outreach. They lost members. But the health and spiritual depth of their church today is a testimony of God's transforming work and enduring faithfulness to the people he loves. Honest and humble, this is Kent and Mike's story of a church they love, written to inspire and challenge other churches to let God rewrite their stories as well. Read it for the church you love.

Author Bio

Kent Carlson founded Oak Hills Church of Folsom, California, in 1984. For the past thirteen years he has been copastoring the church together with Mike Lueken. Carlson is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and lives with his family in the Sacramento, California, area. Mike Lueken is copastor (with Kent Carlson) of Oak Hills Church of Folsom, California. He is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and lives with his family in the Sacramento, California, area. Dallas Willard (1935-2013) was a professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for over 40 years. A highly influential author and teacher, Willard was as celebrated for his enduring writings on spiritual formation as he was for his scholarship. His books include ( Book of the Year in 1998), and others. His books have received numerous Annual Book Awards and other recognitions. Willard served on the boards of the C.S. Lewis Foundation and Biola University, and was a member of numerous evaluation committees for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. He received bachelors degrees from both Tennessee Temple College and Baylor University and a graduate degree at Baylor University, as well as a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in Philosophy and the History of Science.

Endorsements

Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken love the church--not an abstract one, but the one that meets: here and there, down on the corner, or in a warehouse. They love their church. . . . Please read this book and creatively apply it to your situation, with The Teacher beside you. You don't need more money or new facilities. Just begin where you are and all else will take care of itself. No, God will take care of it.
-From the foreword by Dallas Willard

The Western church desperately needs conversations around what local church activities look like in light of the gospel of the kingdom: pastoring, outreach, worship, teaching and forming people spiritually. Kent and Mike have done the hard work of thinking about and living these things, helping the rest of us know where to start and what to do.
-Jan Johnson,
author of Spiritual Disciplines Companion and Invitation to the Jesus Life

The release of Renovation of the Church is a bright day for the church. Carlson and Lueken offer a wonderfully candid, bold book about the journey of a church that stopped appealing to religious consumers and started producing disciples of Jesus.
-Gary W. Moon,
executive director of the Renovare Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation

This book is a breath of fresh air that brings with it the aroma of hope--hope that maybe, just maybe, there's a different way to do this thing we call church. But more than just a different way, Mike and Kent began with a different desire--a desire to be part of a community of faith that was characterized by something beyond success, a community that would actually begin to resemble the character and fragrance of Christ. Their journey toward fulfilling that desire has been a long and difficult one--costly too! But if you're like me, you'll find it full . . . of hope.
-David Johnson,
senior pastor, Church of the Open Door

Bold, courageous, humorous and refreshingly honest! Carlson and Lueken invite us into a journey that few churches would ever attempt--shifting their church from a 'consumer driven' church model to a 'disciple-making' church model (a novel idea!). Renovation of the Church is a must-read for every pastor, church leader or seminarian who longs to see the church fulfill the heart of its mission!
-Keith J. Matthews,
professor, Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University

I do not know of a church that has more thoroughly applied what Renovare cares about to an entire congregation than Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California. Read this book to help your church catalyze the kingdom life of God that is within us and between us.
-Lyle Smith Graybeal,
coordinator, Renovare USA

The honest story of two courageous pastors who dared to change the ethos of their church from a membership focus to a discipleship focus, from catering to consumers to creating Christ-followers. Their story will inspire you.
-James Bryan Smith,
author of The Good and Beautiful God

Editorial Reviews

"The honest story of two courageous pastors who dared to change the ethos of their church from a membership focus to a discipleship focus, from catering to consumers to creating Christ-followers. Their story will inspire you."
"I do not know of a church that has more thoroughly applied what Renovaré cares about to an entire congregation than Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California. Read this book to help your church catalyze the kingdom life of God that is within us and between us."
"Bold, courageous, humorous and refreshingly honest! Carlson and Lueken invite us into a journey that few churches would ever attempt—shifting their church from a 'consumer driven' church model to a 'disciple-making' church model (a novel idea!). Renovation of the Church is a must-read for every pastor, church leader or seminarian who longs to see the church fulfill the heart of its mission!"
"This book is a breath of fresh air that brings with it the aroma of hope—hope that maybe, just maybe, there's a different way to do this thing we call church. But more than just a different way, Mike and Kent began with a different desire—a desire to be part of a community of faith that was characterized by something beyond success, a community that would actually begin to resemble the character and fragrance of Christ. Their journey toward fulfilling that desire has been a long and difficult one—costly too! But if you're like me, you'll find it full . . . of hope."
"The release of Renovation of the Church is a bright day for the church. Carlson and Lueken offer a wonderfully candid, bold book about the journey of a church that stopped appealing to religious consumers and started producing disciples of Jesus."
"The Western church desperately needs conversations around what local church activities look like in light of the gospel of the kingdom: pastoring, outreach, worship, teaching and forming people spiritually. Kent and Mike have done the hard work of thinking about and living these things, helping the rest of us know where to start and what to do."
"Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken love the church—not an abstract one, but the one that meets: here and there, down on the corner, or in a warehouse. They love their church. . . . Please read this book and creatively apply it to your situation, with The Teacher beside you. You don't need more money or new facilities. Just begin where you are and all else will take care of itself. No, God will take care of it."

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting to watch the journey
    August 28, 2011
    Brad
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    It is interesting to watch the journey that this church and the pastoral staff went through as they try to return to the Gospel from being strictly a seeker-sensitive church. The challenges of balancing spiritual growth with evangelism to reach the community. Trying to change the church members attitude towards the purpose and how to 'do church' was something that struck home with me. I found myself being guilty of some of the attitudes of what does the church do for me instead of what I'm supposed to do for the church. Definitely worth the read.
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