What are Regional Affiliate Renewal Fellowships (RARFs)?
They are a fellowship of persons within an annual conference, committed to the vision and work of Aldersgate Renewal Ministries, who seek to bring renewal to the United Methodist churches in their annual conference through the person and work of the Holy Spirit. They seek to develop an ongoing ministry on behalf of ARM with the people and churches within the fellowship’s area. They serve as ambassadors for ARM and extend the ministry of ARM on a local level through intercessory prayer, education and encouragement through such means as:
- Holy Spirit conferences
- Praise and worship services
- Promoting ARM team-led local church renewal events
- Teaching at district/conference leadership training events
- Hosting ARM events at their own churches
- Maintaining a website of information about ARM and the RARF
- Distributing Guidelines: The United Methodist Church and the Charismatic Movement
- Prayer ministry and other events at annual conference
- ARM displays at district and annual conference events
- Speaking to Bishops and District Superintendents and at clergy meetings about ARM and its programs
- Promoting attendance at the annual Aldersgate conference and events at the Aldersgate Renewal Center
RARFs meet together on a regular basis for prayer, fellowship and support. They conduct at least one annual ARM event/retreat/gathering or some ongoing ministry. They contribute financially to the work of ARM on an annual basis and they receive guidance and assistance from ARM for the work of renewal in their annual conference.
ARM works in partnership with the General Board of Discipleship. Being affiliated with ARM often will grant a RARF privileges on an annual conference level, such as advertising access to conference mailing lists, email lists, conference newspapers, and annual conference display space. RARFs are required to renew their covenant relationship with ARM annually.
Other RARF Information
How do I form a RARF?
The first step is to pray that God will guide you to gather a group of at least 8-10 persons in your annual conference who share the vision of forming a RARF. The group should have clergy and laity, men and women, older and younger people, and should represent different geographical locations in the annual conference. If the group is largely centered around one pastor or one church it is not likely to last.
The group needs to form a steering committee that will meet at regular times to plan ways to promote ARM and conduct ARM events in the annual conference. You will need a Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer, Prayer Coordinator, Representative to the ARM annual meeting (this may be the coordinator) and at least 3 at-large members to balance the group.
Since a RARF is a ministry group, your group will need to decide what ministries it is going to do in your annual conference—monthly prayer and praise services that move around the conference, annual Holy Spirit Conferences, quarterly one-day events, local church renewal event team training events, a Life in the Spirit Seminar or other local church renewal event, an event for pastors, a seminar on healing, a prayer room at annual conference, a breakfast with a renewal speaker at annual conference, etc. Start small and manageable, then plan to grow from there.
Once you have the vision of what you are going to do, and have formed your steering committee, you should contact the ARM office for a copy of the RARF Covenant Relationship Statement available from the Director of Church Relations. You simply fill out the application and send it in.
Develop a mailing list of persons who are interested in what you can provide. The ARM office may be able to help you with names of those in the ARM constituency who live in your annual conference area. Have sign up sheets during displays at district events and annual conference to add to your mailing list.
Make an appointment with your bishop and district superintendents to share your vision of forming a RARF with them. It can be very helpful to begin by explaining to them what a RARF is not; making them aware of ARM’s affiliation with the General Board of Discipleship. Assure them that you are there to help them and their ministry in the annual conference. Ask them for suggestions where they might see your group providing valuable ministry in the annual conference. Invite them to speak at one of your events.
See if you can get opportunities to share with district clergy meetings, annual conference evangelism committees, and other groups about ARM and what ARM can do for them. Contact pastors and lay people in other churches to share the vision of what your group intends to do. See if there are ways that your group and ARM can be of help to them.
Plan to have some of your steering committee attend the annual Aldersgate Conference. Bring back CDs and DVDs from that conference to share with the rest of the steering committee and other churches and individuals.
Call the Director of Church Relations at the ARM office with questions and for suggestions. The ARM office can put you in touch with RARF coordinators in other annual conferences who can share with you what they are doing in their region.
Keep working on getting the word out and sponsoring events so people are filled, gifted, empowered and led by the Holy Spirit in ministry to your annual conference.
Support RARFs Receive From ARM
- Official recognition as an ARM RARF
- Use of ARM name and logo in promotional material
- Use of Discipleship Ministries (formerly GBOD) Letter of Relationship to ARM
- Access to ARM mailing lists for local area
- Publicizing RARF events through ARM publications, intercessory prayer network and website
- Notification when ARM is doing an event in the RARF’s area
- Pragmatic assistance in planning events by ARM staff
- Representative from each RARF attends the ARM annual board and council meeting
- Scheduling of opportunities for RARF representatives to meet together during the annual board meeting and Aldersgate Conference
- Liability insurance for RARF events
- Continuing Education Unit certificates for pastors at RARF events
- Materials for displays
- Suggestions for resource people
What RARF's are not
They are not political caucus groups, adversarial groups, or sponsors of legislation at annual or General Conference. RARFs and ARM do not take positions on issues facing the church, issue statements, or submit resolutions; they do ministry. They are ministry groups, not political groups. This is a very important distinction.