Ted Harro serves as president of Renovaré, a ministry that models, resources and advocates fullness of life with God experienced, by grace, through the spiritual practices of Jesus and of the historical Church. He is also founder of Noonday Ventures, a strategy and leadership development firm. Harro has studied and taught inside-out transformation for more than 20 years. He uses humor and creativity to make spiritual change accessible to people in a wide variety of marketplace and ministry contexts. He and his wife, Gretchen, have been invested in hundreds of couples as mentors, teachers, retreat leaders, writers and co-founders of Bright Star Marriage. Harro is a graduate of the Renovaré Institute, Wheaton College and the University of Illinois Chicago.
How do people change? And, why is change so elusive? These were the questions that compelled Ted Harro to consider the work of Renovaré, a Christian nonprofit that helps people become more like Jesus.
After a 30 year career in business consulting, Ted now leads Renovaré as its president. In Today’s Conversation, he talks with Walter Kim, NAE president, about spiritual formation and how to be people who are truly transformed by God. They discuss what it means to develop the mindset of Christ.
Ted also shares:
- How to cultivate an authentic approach to spiritual disciplines without falling into legalism;
- Why creating more space for “depth” in churches is an antidote to society’s frenetic pace;
- What role community plays in spiritual disciplines and formation; and
- What lessons he’s learning through life and leadership.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter: This work is fascinating, both the delight and the resistance. I want to explore a particular angle of resistance. What is the tension between disciplines that you are to celebrate and pursue, and an openness to God’s Spirit coming in and guiding? How do those things converge, because you can’t manage God’s spirit showing up in any particular way? This mindset of openness to the Spirit, spiritual practices that require discipline, and not being legalistic.
Ted: It’s the misconception that I would have had years ago myself. Most people listening to this would know who Dallas Willard is, but he was a very gifted philosopher who was a deeply Christian person and who wrote on these issues. We talk a lot at Renovaré and a lot of other places about how you have to make sure you know what disciplines are and what they aren’t.
What we are all aiming our lives towards is a vision of a life full of God, and an inner life that is so close Jesus’ inner life that our outer life can also be like Jesus’ life. Sometimes people think about spiritual formation only being inner. That is a misconception.
We do worry about the inside life, because it has such an effect on the outside life. That’s all about formation. How you are being shaped and shaping the world around you. Back to disciplines, disciplines are just a means to pursue with God — in partnership with God — that vision of becoming more and more like Jesus on the inside. They are tools; they are means of grace; they are not anything that gives you grace.
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- Learn more about the Renovaré Institute.
- Read “The Eternal Promise” by Thomas Kelly.
- Listen to our podcast with Dr. Curt Thompson on Exploring Soul Care.
- Read Jimmy Mellado’s article, “He Restores My Soul: A Different Take on Psalm 23.”
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Calvin Seminary.