The Renewal Lab


A two-year journey to kick-start renewal in the local church

According to the Barna Group, 80% of North America’s churches have plateaued or are seeing their membership decline.

The Renewal Lab, part of Calvin Seminary’s Institute for Global Church Planting and Renewal, exists to help pastors and church leaders reverse this trend, helping them grow church communities that are epicenters of God’s redemptive love…so that more may come to know Christ.

About The Renewal Lab

Quarterly Lab Themes

Renewal Lab Staff

Register for the 2014 Renewal Lab

About The Renewal Lab

The Renewal Lab is a hands-on learning opportunity for pastors and their teams.  The Lab takes a multifaceted approach to church revitalization and is for any church that seeks renewal, with a special emphasis on churches that have seen their membership plateau or decline.

Participants experience:

  • Eight quarterly learning labs on the campus of Calvin Theological Seminary
  • Team development for pastors and volunteers
  • Peer learning breakout sessions, divided by ministry area
  • Plenary lectures by experienced leaders
  • Individual coaching from ministry experts between sessions
  • Accountability and support for reaching ministry goals

Seminary-trained interns are also available for placement at participating churches.

Quarterly Lab Themes

Quarterly “learning labs” are at the heart of The Renewal Lab journey.  Once every season, pastors gather for a Wednesday morning-Saturday afternoon intensive.  Lay leaders join the group of pastors at the Lab on Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday morning.

Each Lab rotation begins in the summer and continues to meet quarterly for two years.

Renewal Lab two-year program cycle

Renewal Lab Two-Year Program Cycle

Lab 1:  Begin
renewal process essentials

 Lab 2:  Tell
making Gospel-telling central

 Lab 3:  Form
spiritual formation for renewal

 Lab 4: Lead
empowering leaders for renewal

 Lab 5: Mobilize
systems and structures for renewal

 Lab 6:  Bless
church planting and renewal

 Lab 7:  Continue
sustainability and renewal

 Lab 8:  Celebrate
remembering with thanks

The Renewal Lab Staff

Five individuals comprise the core teaching and creative team.
Additional content is taught by guest lecturers who participate in each Learning Lab.

Rev. Cory Willson
Cory Willson is professor of Missiology at Calvin Seminary and director of the Institute for Global Church Planting.

Rev. Keith Doornbos
Keith Doornbos serves as Director of the Church Renewal Lab and pastored a century-old congregation that experienced a two-decade renewal journey.

Rev. Larry Doornbos
Larry Doornbos is an experienced church planter who began the vibrant faith community of Evergreen Ministries in Hudsonville, Michigan where he serves as lead pastor.

Rev. Scott Vander Ploeg
Scott Vander Ploeg is the innovative pastor of Sunlight Community Church in Port St. Lucie, Florida which has been in a season of joy-filled ministry re-birth for the past decade.

Rev. Kris Vos
Kris presently pastors a congregation in the early stages of a renewal journey.  He previously planted and pastored a vibrant church plant in Schererville, IN for three decades.

Register for the next Renewal Lab

Please contact Rev. Keith Doornbos ( to register for the next cohort of the Renewal Lab. He is eager to understand your church’s story and how the Renewal Lab can serve your needs.

Renewal Lab Registration Expenses

Churches pay a registration fee based on congregation size to defray expenses:

Congregation Size Annual Tuition
Up to 100 members $2500
100-200 members $3000
200+ members $3500

Churches are encouraged to seek classical or other grants to defray registration if costs pose a challenge.  Payments are made to Calvin Theological Seminary and are due one month prior to each learning lab.

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