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Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation Paperback – April 5, 2011


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Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation + The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 185 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830835466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830835461
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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." (Lyle Smith Graybeal, coordinator, Renovaré 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)

"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)

"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)

"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 Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation)

"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)

"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)

About the Author

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 The Divine Conspiracy (Christianity Today’s Book of the Year in 1998), The Spirit of the Disciplines, Hearing God, Renovation of the Heart and others. His books have received numerous Christianity Today 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 bachelor’s 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I am thankful for the Oak Hills Church and their pastors for sharing this story.
Jeff Borden
Most of them are at real popular level, like "How to Get People in Your Church Really Passionate" or "How to Be a Better Pastor-Leader".
J. Nitta
Inside this book you will learn their mistakes, feel their heart's desire to pursue Christlikeness and God's kingdom.
MasterAP

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Keith Meyer on May 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Hey...okay, so I have known these guys for a while.

And they are the real deal - their story is one that will give you hope in the midst of the big pile of books out there today suggesting what might grow "your" church - so this book is not another "how to" but a faithful witness to what happens when a church team asks Jesus, not current religious culture, to be their teacher. And that same renovation can happen to your church too.

I first heard their story as part of a small group of church leadership teams that had been directly influenced by Dallas Willard and his teaching. Along with Kent and Mike's team, we were privileged to have Dallas with us in these meetings over several years and the story in this book is a invitation for your team to embark on that same journey. Although their journey is from a "Seeker" church beginning, our group of churches came from many different beginnings: "Recovery" church, "Traditional mainline", "Inner city-Justice", "Emergent" and "Bible" church types...and as this book will attest - without Jesus as teacher, and our church's "brand" as the attraction - church becomes more an extension of our egos and not so much Christ's Kingdom.

So no matter what kind of church you have, Mike and Kent's story is a map that leads any church from any background to the ONE CENTER of transformation in Jesus and life together in the Kingdom.

This book's account is important because it shows that there is a cost to intentional corporate discipleship and it is not about reading a few books by Dallas Willard or a formation sermon series or hiring a staff member to "do spiritual formation" for the church in a boutique program for a few.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin A. Simpson VINE VOICE on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken desire to lead a church where people are becoming like Jesus. As co-pastors of Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California, Mr. Lueken and Mr. Carlson have been on a journey. After founding Oak Hills in 1984, Mr. Carlson adopted many of the principles of Willow Creek in leading his church to become a growing, seeker-sensitive congregation. But over time, Mr. Carlson and his staff began to become uncomfortable with the witness, methodology, and philosophy of ministry that prevailed at their church. A change was needed. Rather than being consumer driven and seeker oriented, the leadership felt called to be Kingdom driven and discipleship oriented, and as a result of this new vision, everything changed. The authors describe this as a transition to making "spiritual formation", rather than numerical growth, their primary orientation.

And while this may sound inspiring, this reshaping of vision came with a cost. Mr. Carlson and Mr. Lueken recast worship, abandoned the "show", and watched the church dwindle numerically. After being held up as a beacon of success as a Willow Creek style congregation, the bright perception that came with high numbers began to dim. Mr. Lueken and Mr. Carlson tell their story in this book of making a radical shift in philosophy of ministry--one that they believe in--and invite other leaders to reconsider their models, their language, their discourse, and their method for making disciples of Jesus Christ.

As a leadership tale, this sounds good.

But then why three stars? This may strike some as odd. Why would you assign a book a three star rating if the book is confusing, at best?

Simple. This book contains very high highs and very low lows.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Borden VINE VOICE on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book showed up on my radar a few weeks back with an advanced reading copy (bound transcript form) from InterVarsity Press. At the time I had quite a few books that were on my "to read" least that preceded Renovation of the Church, so I skimmed it, made a few notes, and put it aside for later reading.

One of the reasons that I have "quite a few books" on my reading list is the season of my spiritual journey. The past couple of years have been rather intense with the direction that I have sensed God leading me, and my quest for answers and guidance has resulted in much reading, listening, and prayerful contemplation. Skimming through Renovation gave me the impression that I had already gleaned the information that it offered to me. That was presumptuous of me.

A couple days ago I saw a brief review on a popular blogsite I frequent of Carlson and Lueken's book and was reminded of my transcript copy. I went to my bookshelf and retrieved the book with the intentions of reading the highlighted chapters noted in the review. Coincidentally, a few hours later this same day, a fully edited copy of Renovation of the Church arrived on my doorstep for review. I thought; "Maybe I should read the whole book." I sat down this morning and read Renovation from cover to cover.
To say that this book was a timely read for me would be an understatement. As I mentioned earlier, I have been on a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts for the past couple of years (I am a pastor) trying to redefine the ministry of helping to "make disciples" as Jesus has instructed us.
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