We are just about one month away from Redeemer Lincoln Square’s first service on Easter Sunday, April 16. Since we announced in November that Redeemer Lincoln Square will be launching a new congregation at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (64th and Central Park West) we have had prayer nights, vision nights, and weekly Catalyst classes filled with congregants getting to know each other in anticipation of that day.
We know community is a complicated matter that takes time, proximity, commonality and vulnerability. This mixture solidifies as a group of people decides to do life together, to be known and cared for.
We are excited to do just that at Redeemer Lincoln Square, but it means engaging with each other. We have been saying for months now, “Redeemer Lincoln Square is a church that values questions and the people who ask them.” This means we see questions as a form of dialog that can lead to relationships, both with one another and with God, and eventually to community. Too often we as New Yorkers are comfortable in our own little spaces. We hope to energize people to reengage with each other, both outside and inside the church.
One of the ways we hope to do this is to each week have a time after the worship service for people to ask questions. People will be able to text questions in anonymously, and we will respond and wrestle with them publicly — because we want to be a community that is learning and processing together.
This is more than a Q&A, but also way of being an honest community. God is knowable — but in the Bible we also see that God often makes himself most clearly known in response to peoples’ questions. So bold questions are what we’ll expect as, together, we seek both to understand and experience what the gospel is and does.
Each person behind each question matters to us. Questions, therefore, are not mere intellectual thoughts because behind each question is a story and a person that we want to know more about. The Q&A time, or rather Q&R (Question and Response) time is also a way to demonstrate our attitude towards our whole community. We want to be a dialoging place where people all over the spectrum of belief don’t just feel listened to, but also engaged and cared for.
We really do feel that the gospel changes everything and the gospel is for everyone. So we exist to be a community that seeks both to understand and experience the gospel — internally in our lives and externally in how we relate to our neighbors. We will do this through public dialogue, intentional relationships, acts of service, and love for our city in the hopes of seeing the neighborhood of Lincoln Square flourish.
Redeemer Lincoln Square is going to be sent out next month. Please pray for us as we go out to start this new congregation. Also, pray that God would reveal to us the people we should be praying for to invite to Redeemer Lincoln Square.
We aren’t doing community for communities’ sake ... we are starting this church so all people (including ourselves) can get to know Jesus better.