Community is central to the character of God and his mission on earth. Scripture is bookended with this truth — from Genesis 2:18, where God declares it not good for man to be alone, to Revelation 21, when the Lord and his redeemed people will finally dwell together in unhindered fellowship for all eternity in the new Jerusalem.
The Creator of the universe reveals himself to be three persons existing in fellowship for all of eternity, and he creates human beings in this very same image. This means we are designed for interdependency, to enjoy God together with others. We cannot experience God to our fullest without others, and apart from community, we will not thrive. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in Life Together, “the physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.”
Since Redeemer began, community has been a central focus. We believe the best way to get plugged into the life of the church is to become actively involved in a Community Group. It is in these small, weekly groups where people can experience Christ and the profound influence he has in our lives and through us to others.
This is why Redeemer begins each fall with Beta Groups. Beta Groups are seven-week Community Groups for people new to our church or city, new to community at Redeemer, or new to Christianity. And because it’s a short commitment, it’s a great way to test community life at Redeemer. Member sign ups open August 30 and groups launch the week of September 27. This year, we hope to launch 65 new Beta Groups, and in the process create new space for community for over 650 people.
Encountering the unique challenges of living in a large, transient city like New York without community can leave one stranded, alone, and wearied. One Redeemer Beta Group leader from last fall shared this about his experience: “I thought I’d have no problem acclimating to city life, but it was not as easy as I hoped. It was after accepting an invitation to a Community Group that I found others going through similar challenges and we began to face them together. “
The Holy Spirit’s work through community can turn questions into confidence, loneliness into relationship, and skepticism to faith. We can’t do that without Community Groups, and we can’t form groups without dozens of new faithful leaders and hosts. Help us form these life-changing communities by volunteering to be a Beta Group leader or host, or recommending a friend to do so. If you’re interested, or would like to recommend a friend, visit redeemer.com/beta.