Formation: In Christ, With Community, For the City

Theories abound on how change happens in the life of individuals and cultures. In the bestseller, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explores the science of habit and explains that our experiences are a product of the habits that we’ve intentionally or unintentionally adopted into our lives. Christianity tells us something similar, that when we trust in Jesus and walk in his ways, our lives are changed.

Picture these stories from the Bible–Paul was in a Roman prison, shackled and unjustly accused, yet he sang. Zaccheus filled his bank account by cheating others, then after meeting Jesus he gave away half of his wealth. The disciples abandoned their livelihood to spread the news of salvation through Jesus. What gave a jailed man a joyous song? What became more important to Zaccheus than money? What changed the the disciples’ lives?

Jesus met them and called them to follow him. When they answered yes, everything changed–their words, their deeds, their purpose. Christians today can answer the same call. When Christ is our identity, his love transforms our daily practices, community and callings. Then we live not for ourselves, but for his purposes through our work, relationships and neighborhood.

Redeemer wants every attendee to be formed in Christ, with community, for the city. For this to be true, we need growth–spiritual formation.

We are being formed all the time. Whatever we choose to prioritize, ponder and pursue shapes us. Think of your daily patterns–how are they shaping you as you wake up, commute, relate, work, eat, connect, create, exercise, end the day? Redeemer wants to equip you with practices to help you grow as a disciple of Christ–not just for your own sake, but for the good of the city.

This year, we will start with five practices that inform all aspects of our lives–devotion, worship, accountability, hospitality and rest. Through Sunday worship services and Community Groups, from Children’s Ministry to membership, we will be encouraged to begin these practices because Christ’s love has transformed us. As we live out our call to serve and bring renewal in the city through our relationships, work and neighborhood we pray to see God use us for his good in the city.

Join with us in being formed. Together we can know the joy of following Christ and seeing him transform the lives of many around us.

Acts 2:42, 47, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

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Articles in this Issue

Defining a Gospel Movement
Tim Keller
A twenty-year-old commitment fulfilled
Mai Hariu-Powell
The Redeemer Lincoln Square Report
Joe and Connie Ricci
The problem with our “Me-ology”
Peter Ong
Looking for Beta Group leaders and hosts