What is Renewal in the Church?
‘If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation’
(2 Corinthians 5.17)
Renewal is a process by which transformation happens; where the old is made new, that which is broken is restored, and through which God breathes new life over all creation.
Here at OFM, we believe in a God who transforms and renews, who desires wholeness and flourishing for all that they have made. Wholeness and flourishing may look different in different contexts, relationships and individuals, but is always effected by the work of the Holy Spirit, which is present and active in the world and the Church today.
For many, renewal is experienced as profound strengthening, reawakening, or fresh awareness of baptismal grace; as their faith is re-enlivened by encounter with the living God, made known to us in the person of Jesus Christ. This encounter will often be characterised by a person responding, with new energy or a deepening faith, to Christ's call to discipleship, mission and ministry in God's church and the wider world. Renewal is evident in churches and communities which live out their calling to witness to the joy of the Resurrection life with a vibrant, word-engaged, compassionate and compelling faith.
Renewal is not a single event, but events may act as a catalyst for experiencing renewal (sometimes termed a 'revival'). Experiencing renewal is never self-serving; but a process in which our hearts are opened to receive the gifts of God, in order that we may each contribute to the building up of God's Kingdom. Our hope is that members of the OFM network would share the gifts of God so that they may grow God's kingdom and be agents of renewal in their local context.