MISSION


Building disciples who invite and inspire others
to love and serve Jesus together


building —  Following Jesus means walking on a path of continual growth. “Upbuilding” is a biblical metaphor for the kind of progress that people of faith ought to aim for. We want to be a church that is intentional about helping people grow in grace as they are being rooted and grounded in the love of Christ.

disciples — Disciples are people who follow Jesus. Men and women who have accepted his invitation will learn to adopt his values, be guided by his commands, trust his outlook on the world, and receive his grace which gives new life. Everyone growing to follow Jesus will relate to the people around them differently.

who invite — Jesus uses his disciples to bring other potential followers to himself. We want to intentionally reach out to people who do not know Jesus. This happens when the people who we are being built up at Renaissance Church invite their friends, neighbors, and co-workers to join them. Whether it’s a Sunday worship service or a special event, we create our environments to be welcoming and inviting for anyone to attend.

and inspire others — Disciples not only invite but inspire people to want to know Jesus through their way of being in the world. Disciples become Jesus’ witnesses, living in ways that show others what Jesus is like. Faithful witness attracts others to God. We want to take responsibility for helping disciples find ways to live as inspiring witnesses where God has placed them in the world.

to love — Anyone who sincerely follows Jesus will receive God’s love and respond in love toward God in Christ. We want to encourage patterns of worship and fellowship that increase our love for Jesus.

and serve Jesus — Because God has loved us, we love others. Service is the broadest outward form love takes. To love and serve Jesus is to love and serve the world. We want to invest energy and resources in creating opportunities for disciples to actively serve God by serving the world around them.

together — Discipleship always happens with other disciples. We create opportunities for people to grow in genuine community through the ministries at Renaissance Church

STRATEGY


Gather to see Jesus
Grow to follow Jesus
Go to show Jesus


We gather when we meet on Sunday mornings for worship or join others in a community group. Something amazing happens when we meet together and invite God’s presence. We provide opportunities for adults and children of all ages to gather throughout the week to see Jesus at work in our lives.

We grow in our understanding and love for Jesus when we learn to serve him and those around us. Whether serving on one of our teams, attending a group or class, or choosing to be generous with what God has given you, there are many opportunities to grow, no matter where you are in your journey as a disciple of Jesus.

We go where God wants to show his love. From the places we live to the places we work—from our local community to the globe, we want to show others who Jesus is. We do this when we show kindness to a neighbor and provide clean water and food to those in need.

BELIEFS


Our mission is driven by our beliefs, and the beliefs we embrace are the basic convictions held by the church throughout history. One way these beliefs have been summarized is in the Apostles' Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

From this statement of faith, we affirm the following:

The Trinity. There is one God who eternally exists in a communion of three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Incarnation. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity—God the Son—became human in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is both fully God and fully human, and it is upon him that our church is built. Jesus Christ is the Word of God, whom we are given to trust and obey in life and death.

As the Holy Spirit bears witness to Jesus through the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the Bible is our authoritative guide for all matters of faith and practice.

The Atonement. Jesus Christ died on the cross and was raised from the dead for the salvation of the world.

The Church. God is doing this work of salvation in and through a community of people assembled from every tribe, language, and nation.

Salvation by Faith. We believe salvation is by God’s grace, and is received through faith in Christ. Our good works do not contribute to our salvation but are evidence of a transformed life.


Unity, Liberty, and Love

Renaissance Church is comprised of people from various church traditions and backgrounds. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit unifies his church. We work at maintaining that unity, holding onto the essentials of the Christian faith while having an open hand for matters of secondary importance.

        In essentials, we strive for unity.
        In non-essentials, we offer liberty.
        In all things, we work at showing love.

STATEMENT OF PRACTICE


Renaissance Church’s beliefs and practices place us firmly amid the historic, orthodox Protestant tradition expressed in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. Our Statement of Practice sets forth our primary theological doctrines. We appreciate that, beyond those primary doctrines, a range of valid, biblically-based beliefs and practices exist. Although we do not take an official theological position on these matters, we must decide how to practice our faith in these areas.  We do so humbly and graciously, with a desire to create an environment in which people who hold to different valid interpretations of the Bible are excited to participate in the life of our church as we pursue our core mission. We encourage individuals to explore these matters through in-depth Bible study, research, discussion, reflection, and prayer.


Ordinances/Sacraments

Renaissance Church recognizes two ordinances/sacraments: baptism and communion. We are comfortable describing these two symbolic acts as “ordinances” since our Lord ordained (i.e., commanded) both. We are also comfortable with the terms “sacraments or “means of grace," both of which emphasize the blessing God bestows. Although we encourage all believers to be baptized and celebrate communion, we believe neither baptism nor communion is necessary for salvation, nor do they remove sin nor earn us any favor with God.


Believer Baptism

We encourage anyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to be baptized to celebrate the work that God has accomplished in their life. Believer's baptism symbolizes the believer’s unity with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3–4). It also symbolizes the cleansing from sin that Christ has provided (Acts 22:16). We baptize believers by immersion since it most completely symbolizes our unity with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.


Infant Dedication

Some parents may choose to have their children dedicated to God as a symbol of the parents’ desire to raise their children to become followers of Christ (1 Samuel 1:27–28).


Communion

Renaissance Church celebrates communion regularly in keeping with Jesus’ command to his disciples that we do so to proclaim his death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Communion reminds us of Jesus’ death and resurrection and provides us with an opportunity to examine our lives and enjoy the forgiveness and cleansing from sin he provides. Communion also celebrates the unity we have as a community whose foundation is found in the relationship we each have with Christ. We encourage all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to participate in communion, regardless of their affiliation with Renaissance Church or any other local church.


Spiritual Gifts

Renaissance Church believes that the Holy Spirit provides each believer with one or more spiritual gifts to glorify God and build up his church. We encourage all followers of Jesus to seek to know how God has gifted them, develop their spiritual gifts, and exercise these gifts in a way that glorifies him and benefits their brothers and sisters in Christ. Our understanding of the nature and practice of spiritual gifts is subject to the teaching of the Bible (Romans 12:3–8; 1 Corinthians 12:1–14:40; Ephesians 4:7–16; and 1 Peter 4:10–11). Valid interpretations of these passages include some or all of the gifts mentioned in these passages being active today.


Leadership and Service

We believe that the Bible teaches the full equality of human beings in creation and redemption (Genesis 1:26–28, 2:23, 5:1–2; 1 Corinthians 11:11–12; Ephesians 4:7–13), and we conclude that all qualified persons, whether clergy or lay, are free to exercise their God-given gifts in all ministry and leadership positions in the church (Ephesians 4:11–13).  Qualification for service will be determined by character (1 Peter 5:1–5), calling (1 Timothy 4:14), gifts (1 Peter 4:10–11), and preparation.  Other service positions are also open to all who are qualified for those positions.


Stewardship

Renaissance Church believes that all we have—spiritual gifts, talents, abilities, and money—is a gift from God and that we are stewards of all God has given us. We should use what he has given us to bring glory to him and love others (Luke 10:27; 1 Peter 4:7–11). We understand that the financial situation for each individual and family attending Renaissance Church differs.  We hope that our entire church community will aspire to give generously, joyfully, and worshipfully in response to what God has graciously given. Ultimately each person must prayerfully consider how much they will give, understanding that the appropriate amount and timing is between them and God. Followers of Christ ought to give intentionally in a planned way, whether weekly, monthly, as paid, etc. Spontaneous giving is also appropriate, but it should not replace regular, planned giving (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). We provide various options for making donations (e.g., offering box, online giving, stock donation, etc.), which may change over time.


Fiduciary Responsibility

Renaissance Church takes seriously our fiduciary responsibility (2 Corinthians 8:16–21). All donations made to Renaissance Church are used at the sole discretion of Renaissance Church. Donors may discuss with the church leadership designating their contributions to be used for a ministry previously established by Renaissance Church or a new ministry that could be established. Renaissance Church provides each donor with an annual summary of their donations. We provide periodic financial reports to the church congregation. These reports update our people regarding how we use their donations and our ongoing financial needs. We have regular audits and reviews by an independent accounting firm.

ELDERS

Renaissance Church is overseen by a team of elders. The elders of our church are men and women called to provide spiritual oversight for the mission and ministry of the church in three areas:

  • Providing spiritual support for key leaders (including staff and volunteer leaders)
  • Enabling the mission through structural support (including policies, administration, finances, etc.)
  • Maintaining the mission (including assisting the lead pastor and staff in executing the mission by actively discerning, tending to, and supporting God’s calling for the church) 

 

David Cho

Glory DeSimone

Fred Klock

Stetson Knight

Marcelo Mottesi

Eric Yoss

Christian Andrews

STAFF

Christian Andrews

Lead Pastor

Vito Aiuto

Pastor of Connections

Michelle Andrews

Pastor of Children’s Ministry

Christopher Flynn

Pastor of Student Ministry

Anne Knight

Office Manager

Cheryl Muller

Connections Coordinator

Taylor Lee

Ministry Coordinator

Angie Gursoy

Children’s Ministry Assistant

Jim Bover

Director of Ren Cares

Dave Macarone

Creative Director

Josh Dyke

Technical Director

Calle Macarone

Director of Art and Design

Rick Mroz

Facilities Manager

HISTORY

Church

Renaissance Church began with a small group of families who had a heart to reach their friends and neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ. In the early days of the church, we truly were a pilgrim people—without a permanent place to hold services, meeting in schools and community buildings, transporting everything in a small trailer!

After meeting for a few years in different places, the church began to grow, and eventually moved into our own space at the Summit Opera House in 2004. The Opera House was a beautiful and historic location: it was used by Thomas Edison to screen his early moving pictures, then later as a temperance hall during Prohibition. Having a new permanent home, the community transformed the old building into a state-of-the-art, modern church.

 

Church4

In 2016, the church called Christian Andrews as their Lead Pastor. Under his leadership, the church continued to grow, presenting Renaissance Church with a good problem—outgrowing the Summit Opera House.

In July 2020, Renaissance Church purchased 639 Mountain Ave. in Springfield from Holy Cross Lutheran Church, embarking on a new season of fulfilling the mission.