Why the name Redeemer Community Church?
Redemption is the theme of the Bible. Humanity fell into sin in the garden bringing sickness and death to all mankind. Indeed, the whole earth fell under a curse. God however has not abandoned his creation, but has promised to redeem us. He is working out everything according to His perfect plan. Page after page in scripture, we get to see this plan of redemption unfolding. Through His Son Jesus, God has secured this redemption. We believe that this gospel redeems lives individually and communities corporately. We also believe that God has privileged the Church to be a part of this redemption. Through His Spirit, we are to be salt and light in a dying and desperate world. Redeemer Community Church is to be a city on a hill pointing the way to our Savior and King, Jesus.
What is our vision for Redeemer Community Church?
Our vision is simple: We strive to be a people who spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things through Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ transforms us to be a people who love God and love our neighbor.
In order to achieve this, we believe certain things are necessary:
Word of God Preached
We believe that when the word of God is preached, Jesus is lifted up high, and when He is lifted up, He draws all men and women to Himself. We believe that every page of scripture proclaims Jesus and His gospel. This gospel of grace transforms lives and culture. And the more we understand the gospel, the more we come to find that the gospel is not just the ABC’s of our faith, it is the A to Z. We never outgrow it and move on to other things. The Bible must never be reduced to mere moralistic teaching, but Jesus must be seen as central (even when preaching from the Old Testament). In order to spread a passion for the supremacy of God and bring redemption to the world, the church must embody this gospel message.
Martin Luther did not like to use the word “church” to describe a church, because just like today this word had come to mean a building or an institution. He preferred to use the words “community” or “assembly.” This puts the emphasis back on the church being a people instead of a building. As much as possible, we want to do the same. We currently meet at the old South Avondale Baptist Church, but this building does not define us.
Our desire is for our church to be visible out in the community where unbelievers are and to meet in peoples’ homes for prayer and Bible studies. By meeting in people’s homes throughout the week, we hope to remind ourselves that we are part of a movement instead of a building that is part of an institution. We believe that one of the greatest assets our church has is our homes and the openness of them. In addition, we do not wish to have our money tied up in pursuit of a large building, but strive to use our money for missions, helping those in need, and to make a better community, all for the glory of God.
Seeking the Welfare of the City
Our aim is not just a great church, but great communities within a great city. Throughout scripture we see that God has a tremendous heart for the city – not because he loves tall buildings, but because this is where people are concentrated. The Bible begins in a garden but ends in a glorious city. In heaven, we will live in a city for all of eternity. Worshiping God together in the midst of community is the goal. So like Jeremiah teaches, we want to identify ourselves with the city and to seek its welfare. We believe that the gospel can transform the culture and people of a city and all the communities within it into a people who reflect the glory and goodness of God.
Priesthood of All Believers
Every person who is a part of a church has been given gift(s) by the Holy Spirit to use for the edification of the body. We all minister to one another in one capacity or another. Peter said that we are all priests – meaning that we can now confess to one another, intercede for each other, encourage and if necessary, rebuke one another. We assemble together to both minister and to be ministered to.
Keeping it Simple
As much as possible, we strive to keep the rhythm of our church simple – corporate worship on Sunday evenings and mid-week gatherings in our homes for Bible study and prayer. We do not offer many additional programs or have numerous activities to keep ourselves busy, but hope to free up our members to be involved in their communities, get to know their neighbors, and find ways to live out and share the gospel with those around them. We are conscious of the dangers of a church becoming so inwardly focused that they become a holy huddle and isolate themselves from the world around them.