What is RenewalWorks and why is it important?

Through an anonymous online evaluation of each parishioner, and a series of guided workshop discussions with our staff, the RenewalWorks process helps churches (and the individuals in them) refocus on spiritual growth and identify ways that God is calling them to grow.

The methodology has been tailored to the Episcopal tradition, adapting over 10 years of research that has uncovered key characteristics of flourishing congregations. It will inspire your congregation and leadership to rediscover who Jesus is, and what it means to follow him.

How does it work?
The RenewalWorks process begins with an anonymous, confidential, online survey (we call it the Episcopal Spiritual Life Inventory) taken by congregants, exploring that individual’s spiritual life.

Individual responses are combined and viewed as a group, providing a snapshot of the spiritual vitality of the congregation based on research from more than 1,800 churches (of all denominations) and almost 500,000 congregants.

Next, along with staff from RenewalWorks, a parish team is gathered to delve into the specifics of the inventory data over four guided workshops. This group contemplates the following questions, one at each workshop:

1. Where have we been?
2. Where are we now?
3. Where do we feel called to go?
4. How will we get there?

Specific outcomes of the RenewalWorks process are unique to each parish, reflecting that community’s specific challenges and opportunities. They lead to the creation of specific congregation-wide growth initiatives which clarify and elevate expectations for clergy, lay leaders and individuals.

Why does RenewalWorks matter?

A lawyer approached Jesus, putting him to the test with this question: “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus’ response was simple, if not easy. He said it was about love of God (with all your heart and soul and mind) and love of neighbor as self.

That singular emphasis on love of God and neighbor provides the foundation for RenewalWorks, a ministry that focuses on spiritual growth by deepening love of God and neighbor in the lives of congregations, in the lives of ministries that animate those congregations, and in the lives of the individuals who bring life to those ministries.

When the details of life press in, parishes, like individuals, can inadvertently move away from this singular, simple focus on discipleship to the more mundane but necessary actions of running a church. RenewalWorks brings the focus back to Jesus’ response to the lawyer.