The Four Pursuits
At Redemption Church we share a common life of worship and mission that is centered on the lordship of Jesus Christ. We are committed to the idea that God calls us to live in faithfulness to Christ, and to Christ’s body, the church. We don’t have a mission per se; God has a mission, and we are called together by the Spirit in the service of that mission. So, our overall focus is on faithfulness instead of growth, or perceived success.
It’s customary to represent a church’s life with slogans or tag lines. But we have noticed over the years that God routinely calls us beyond what we think we can be, leading us to discover new aspects of what it means to be a part of the church. So instead of a mission statement, we have worked to discern a common language—a shared vocabulary—with which to talk about what it means to be caught up in the mission of God in this particular neighborhood. We've settled on four central pursuits that seem to be descriptive of our common life: worship, mission, discipleship, and wholeness.
We choose the word pursuits carefully. These are not requirements for membership. Anyone who desires to follow Jesus can be a part of this community. Nor are these accomplishments. Our constant confession is that we are all struggling under the weight of one kind of brokenness or another. Rather, these are descriptions of the kinds of concrete practices we hope will anchor our lives in the pursuit of God’s mission of redemption. Over time these pursuits have come to describe the core of our common life, and to guide us in our spiritual journey on both a corporate and personal level.
More than anything else, we’ve come to believe that being a part of Redemption Church involves a long obedience in the same direction … faithfulness over time.
We sometimes refer to ourselves as a ragamuffin church, meaning we aren't terribly polished or sophisticated, but we place a high value on being genuine and sincere. We take risks and try not to hold anything back when it comes to our commitment to God’s mission. We probably fail as often as we succeed. But over time, this practice has given us confidence that God has us, and that God will keep us. This confidence is incredibly important if we want to care for those who are living on the margins of our neighborhood and our city.