The Rise Campaign is the biggest vision Redeemer has undertaken in our 27 years as a church. We’re trying to raise $40 million (that’s more than double any previous campaign!) to accelerate the gospel movement in New York. Will we get there? Only God knows, and if we do get there, it will only be with his support.
Whether we raise all the money or not we are already seeing the Rise campaign change Redeemer. I’ve gotten a unique perspective on this by working on the campaign full-time the past few months and I wanted to share a few encouraging thoughts with you.
Redeemer Night was the biggest single event in Redeemer’s history
On Leap Night, February 29, we gathered to launch the Rise Campaign. We had more than 2000 people RSVP to attend at Hammerstein Ballroom, another 600 RSVP’d for Redeemer Nightx (a simulcast at w83), and more than 1,000 people tuned in from home to watch the Livestream. I was both excited and terrified when I went outside and saw the line to get in stretching around the block.
Once we got everyone in we had a great evening. Andrew Nemr’s tap dance performance was outstanding. We heard from David, Abe, John, Tim, Kathy, and the campaign chairs. We sang, we prayed, and we dreamed together about what God might do through us and through our church. More important than this event being big was that it was beautiful. I received so many encouraging notes from people saying they left inspired. I heard one attendee say she is totally rethinking her approach to the city and how God might work in her if she stayed. If you missed
Redeemer Night — you can still watch it at rise.redeemer.com/videos
More than 2,000 people have said “I’m In”
At Redeemer Night we asked people to say “I’m in” for the Rise vision. Specifically we asked people to say “I’m in” to pray for, engage with, and give to the Rise vision. So far, more than 2,000 people have said they are in. This is so encouraging! We’ve never had more than 1,300 people pledge to a campaign before. This isn’t just encouraging, though, it’s important — a vital part of achieving our vision. We won’t grow from 5-15% of center city New Yorkers being changed by the gospel unless we have a groundswell of people making this vision their own. If you’d like to join us, say “I’m In” at rise.redeemer.com and check out our awesome map highlighting people rising all over the city (and around the world!).
Neighborhood Gatherings are creating a whole new level of community at Redeemer
Maybe my favorite part of the Rise campaign is the 60 Redeemer Neighborhood Gatherings happening all around the city. During the months of March and April, thousands of Redeemerites are gathering for “parties with a purpose” all around the city to meet their neighbors at Redeemer and engage with the Rise vision. Dozens of people are opening their homes, or hosting events at local bars for parties of 20-100 people. Some of these groups are going to continue meeting well beyond the end of the Rise Campaign, creating a whole new level of community at Redeemer.
Biggest changes are ahead
The Rise campaign is already affecting our church in so many ways. It’s exciting to see.
Of course, the biggest changes are ahead. Beginning April 17, we’ll be asking everyone to make a financial pledge to support the campaign. Our hope is to raise money that will provide a building for the East side and for planting dozens of new churches and training pastors and lay leaders for those sites. It will help us turn into more of a church planting church.
As it has been said, in the past Redeemer grew by bringing people in. In the future, we will grow by sending people out — out to new church plants as co-founders, out to our jobs as people who integrate our faith with our work, and out to our neighborhoods as people who sacrifice our comfort to welcome in and serve our neighbors in word and deed. This is a vision worth investing in. And it’s a campaign that is already changing who we are for the better.