What does “renewal” look like? Here are some characteristics:
Renewal in the City:
The helpless are protected, the lonely are brought into community, the prisoners are led out into prosperity (Ps 68:5-6)
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the sick are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news preached to them (Matt 11:2-5)
People are being delivered from the domain of darkness (Col 1:13)
The gospel is preached to all and people are coming to a saving faith in Jesus (Mk 16:15; Matt 28:18-20)
Strong marriages are honored, yet the single life is not stigmatized.
Hurting marriages and families are being healed.
Strong schools are provided for all the children of the city.
Child abuse has radically declined.
Sex within marriage is viewed as beautiful; the sex industry is closing down.
Corruption and greed are declining in both private and public sectors.
Increase in integrity, honesty and trust between landlords and tenants, management and labor, professionals and clients, merchants and customers.
Think tanks are springing up in various professions to explore how to do medicine, art, finance, law, music, journalism, etc. in line with the gospel.
Creative and corporate professionals are forming cooperative ventures to do cultural productions and establish new civic and business enterprises that will reflect the glory of God and improve the quality of life.
Classes and races are experiencing reconciliation.
Individuals and institutions are publicly repenting for the self-justifying attitude that uses racism and classism to bolster self-esteem.
Minority races and marginalized classes are demonstrating an attitude of forgiveness and patience.
Respect/justice and patience/mercy are actively being practiced in relations between races and classes.
The 20% “elites” are repenting of their detachment and getting involved with the needs of the community.
Hundreds of cooperative efforts between “haves” and communities of need are taking place to rebuild neighborhoods.
Clear and powerful proclamation of the Gospel of grace is spreading through the city replacing legalism, liberalism and authoritarian cults.
Testimonies of changed lives are the talk of the town.
Unity within and between churches replaces splintering and conflicts and causes unbelievers to marvel.
Balanced outreach of word and deed is meeting the needs of the city.
Greater unity of purpose and a spirit of cooperation and love between churches.
Hundreds of new churches are being planted.
Renewal in Us:
A growing ability to apply the gospel of Jesus Christ to all of life.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Gal 5:22-23)
Walking in a manner worthy of God’s calling (1 These 2:12), with our hearts and minds guarded by God’s peace (Phil 4:4-7)
Demonstrating the genuineness of our faith though our good deeds (James 2:14-17)