This past weekend I attended a Renovare conference hosted by MPPC. The primary presenters were Dallas Willard, John Ortberg, and Richard Foster. It was a lot of fun to watch these three men teaching and interacting together. You could tell they held each other in great respect and are great friends.
Renovare is an organization formed Richard Foster with the assistance of Dallas Willard, Bill Vaswig, James Bryan Smith, and Marti Ensign to promote spiritual formation. At the core of Renovare is the belief that God wants us to experience continual renewal. Renovare highlights six “streams” or traditions related to spiritual development: contemplative (prayer), holiness (integrity), charismatic (spirit powered), social justice (compassion), evangelical (Word centered) and incarnational (sacramental). These themes are fully developped in Foster’s book Streams of Living Water.
The conference was wonderful balance of encouragement, practical exercises, and teaching. It is easy for a conference to be so focused on knowledge transfer that people walk away bloated. Other conferences focus only on encouraging folks and leave them with a “rah-rah” emotional high, but little more. Renovare attempts to facilitate transformation. If this conference is any indication, I think they are doing a great job.