“Different Name, Same Game!” “Community Rules, Fellowship Drools!” “Community is Cool!” Those were just a few of the catchy slogans we brainstormed to announce this change. Not really. We have no plans for a big name change campaign. But we do want to tell you about it.
From the very early days of Redeemer, there has always been a major emphasis on community: being known, cared for, and living out our faith in the context of the Body of Christ, which sounds spiritual, but practically translates to “other people.” In fact, in many ways, building community is the essential component at Redeemer for our growth and flourishing.
Life together, lived through small groups that meet regularly to engage in worship, study the Bible, pray, share, and serve the city is the way this has primarily occurred. These ways of life together are not changing. In fact, as we move into distinct congregations, the desire for community is as great as it has ever been and we’re hopeful that our three Redeemers will lend themselves to a deeper experience of community. However, from the start, Redeemer has also always sought to be a church that draws in those unfamiliar with the ways or the language of the Church. So while the word ‘fellowship,’ known in Greek as kononia, is used to describe the rich togetherness the early church experienced, it may not be familiar to our neighbors whom we seek to welcome in to our congregations.
Hence, effective immediately, we are changing the name of our fellowship groups to Community Groups.