"[This] book provides a view into the evangelical world and culture and some of its struggles. The lessons are transferable to mainline churches facing similar issues." (The Christian Century, October 18, 2011)
"Renovation of the Church
is a modern story of God's influence and following his word, despite the consequences and opinions of others, highly recommended." (James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review, July 2011)
"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)
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
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 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.