Having moved to New York City several months after 9/11, I’ve now been part of Redeemer for just over half of its 25-year history. During that time, my role has changed from Community Group Director to Director of Congregational Life to my current one as a Lead Pastor at one of Redeemer’s three congregations. And while I don’t personally recall New York City before Redeemer existed, I do remember a time before the Downtown Congregation existed.
While both New York and Redeemer have changed since I moved here, it is striking that our vision has remained very much the same, namely to work towards a city that flourishes spiritually, socially and culturally, both for our joy as a church and New York’s joy as a city. It’s this same spirit and commitment that brought me to New York and led me to apply for the role of Downtown Lead Pastor. It animates the work and life of our family, and gives me great hope for the future impact of the Gospel in our city.
In our Sunday worship services, we pray for the needs of the city, welcome those who are doubting to consider the Christian message, send people out to serve the city as those who love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and remind people that our congregation exists to see Downtown flourish in every dimension of life.
While we are still very young as a Downtown community, it is thrilling to lead a congregation of people who serve the needs of neighbors, pray for spiritual openness amongst friends, work towards cultural and commercial flourishing in the city and, in so many ways, who desire to be a church that serves the city and not merely the needs of those who attend each Sunday.
In our Downtown congregation, we’ve heard stories from many who are considering Christianity for the first time or have recently come to faith in the God of the Bible. We’ve heard from many for whom the Downtown congregation has brought a sense of integration to their home, work, spiritual and cultural lives in ways that they hadn’t experienced before. It’s these glimpses of changed lives that give me hope that God can and will continue to work in our city for its flourishing. It’s been a tremendous joy to have been part of Redeemer’s ministry for the last 13 years and I count it a great privilege that I can be part of its ministry Downtown and throughout our city in years to come.