Three-year Rise anniversary!
On May 10, Redeemerites will come together to celebrate Redeemer and all that God has done through Rise. (And my goodness, there’s lots to share.)
First and foremost, Rise was a campaign that set out with an audacious vision of gospel renewal in our city. It wasn’t a vision about one church, one pastor or one denomination. It was bigger than Redeemer or Manhattan; in fact, it was a vision to accelerate the gospel movement in our whole city. And we purposefully set out to do this as a joint venture with Redeemer City to City so that Redeemer could play a part in renewing the whole city.
The strategy has been centered on New Churches planted of various denominations, New Leaders trained both in vocational and lay ministry and, lastly, New Buildings to address the real estate constraints for churches and the larger movement.
In New Churches, Redeemer is able to celebrate two solid years of Redeemer LSQ and the launch of Downtown Lab this past December. Downtown Lab is trying out an innovative way to reach New Yorkers who may find it more appealing to attend a non-traditional but liturgically rich congregation on a Wednesday night. While all of this is happening, Redeemer East Side is prepping to launch a congregation in East Harlem this October.
Meanwhile CTC, working with the New York Project, has helped launched 37 new churches with 20 more in the pipeline for later this year. These are churches of various denominations, learning together CTC’s theological vision of gospel centrality, contextualization, mercy and justice, and evangelism. Nothing says unity like different denominational leaders from all over the city being equipped in the same room under the same gospel for the sake of reaching the city!
In our effort to train up New Leaders, Redeemer has been blessed by the leadership of Jen Chan and the Formation team who were involved in everything from daily devotionals, the 4 conferences, Neighborhood Advocate Cohort program with HFNY, congregational expressions like MarriageWorks, and more recently, Questioning Christianity. Through the Residency program, Redeemer was also able to “deepen the bench” on our pastoral leadership and accelerate the growth of pastors like Justin Adour, Chuck Armstrong, Joel Kady, Mark Ro and Michael Smith.
Meanwhile, CTC increased their training programs from three to nine! That is nine programs for existing church leaders and pastors, aspiring planters, seminarians, bi-vocational pastors and lay leaders in their 20’s. What was once considered a linear trajectory to becoming a planter is now a more dynamic and customized approach to training leaders. Through these training programs, we have seen over 700 individual leaders trained. More astonishingly, CTC has done this work with representation from 19 different denominations and planting networks!
As for New Buildings, we’re still in prayer for a physical home for Redeemer East Side. We’ve been blessed by the move to a new rental facility at Temple Israel, but for us to be a church that can serve the community 7 days a week and have roots 30, 40 and 50 years from now, the East Side needs a permanent home. Please be praying for the ES Session and Real Estate Committee who have worked tirelessly over the last three years.
All of these highlights (and the many more not mentioned in this long list) happened because of prayer. They happened because God cares deeply about a unifying gospel movement in our city. They happened because of the sacrifices of many who pledged, gave and continue to give to the Rise campaign at Redeemer. They happened because of the sacrifices of the donor community outside of Redeemer who see the cultural significance of New York and dream with us for the gospel to gently permeate every part of our city.
There is so much to celebrate! These milestones and programs are a testament to thoughtful leadership both at Redeemer and CTC. There are many beautiful stories and anecdotes of Redeemerites making life-altering decisions to “rise where they are” to do their part in the gospel movement. We are grateful to God for His abundant provision and grateful to you for your commitment to the vision for a renewed city.
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