One of the key aims of Renovare is to help Christians live a balanced spiritual life.
We express this through encouraging Christians to adopt six traditions of Christian living which we have identified in the life of Christ and the history of the church.
Prayer-Filled Life: The Contemplative Tradition
The Contemplative Tradition continually draws us into love for God and reminds us that the Christian life is less like a rule book and more like falling in love. The disciplines of silence, solitude, and prayer enable us to create the space in our lives that God longs for and the intimacy that we need. Walking the dog in the early morning, riding the bus to work, washing the dishes or simply spending time on our own, all of these offer us time for contemplation.
Virtuous Life: The Holinesss Tradition
The original Greek meaning of the word virtue is simply ‘to function well’. This is not about rules or sitting in judgement, perfectionism, or some kind of merit gained by good deeds. It encourages us to the ultimate goal: not to ‘get us into heaven, but to get heaven into us.’
Spirit-Empowered Life: The Charismatic Tradition
As Christians we need the power of God’s Spirit moving in and through us. We are fuelled by the Holy Spirit as surely as a car is fuelled by petrol, or our physical bodies are fuelled by food. Our souls rely upon the Spirit of God for spiritual energy. And this is a super-fuel! Through the power of the Spirit we are able to do far more than we can on our own.
Compassionate Life: The Social Justice Tradition
God cares deeply about how we treat one another. Justice, compassion and peace are central to our understanding of God. Throughout the history of the church, men and women have dedicated their lives to caring for the hungry, the poor, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the imprisoned.
But as with the other traditions, the actions we take are not the end goal. The disciplines of submission and service and simplicity are only sustainable if they are motivated by a genuine heart and a real love for our neighbour.
Word-Centered Life: The Evangelical Tradition
This is about the good news (that’s what the word evangelism means: it’s Greek for good news.). Through studying the Bible and through proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, we can bring God’s great message to humanity: that everyone can be redeemed and restored.
Sacramental Life: The Incarnational Tradition
The Incarnational Tradition focuses on the relationship between the invisible spirit and physical reality. It’s about seeing God’s presence in the world around us. We can experience God in our workplace, in our homes, as well as in religious sacraments, such as the sacrament of communion.
Ways to explore the six streams:
The Renovaré Lifestreams course, takes you through the streams, session by session, providing a basic understanding of how this balanced spiritual diet can function in our lives.
Richard J. Foster’s book Streams of Living Water is an in-depth exploration of these six dimensions of faith and practice that define Christian tradition. Foster examines the unique contributions of each of these traditions and offers as examples the inspiring stories of faithful people whose lives defined each of these “streams.”