Distinctives

The values that drive us and the multi-congregational structure of our church

Redemption Culture

“Culture is a set of beliefs made visible,” to paraphrase Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck. Beyond our written statements, what we truly believe and value will show itself in our actions, especially our actions toward one another. In any group, a culture emerges over time through particular language, rituals, and humor, among other things. Values and expectations become collectively agreed upon, although they often go unspoken. Every family or organization develops a culture of its own.

In Redemption Church, a culture has already taken shape, one that we are thankful for and continue to foster. For the sake of unity, all congregations – old and new – respect and operate within this culture. But it is important to note that our culture will continue to evolve. This is because each congregation contributes to the shaping of Redemption’s culture simply by participating in it. The increase of uniquely contextualized congregations within Redemption gives us a diversity of internal cultural influences. This is a healthy process that brings fullness and correction to the church.

Obviously, no culture can be adequately summed up concisely. However, we believe that the following statements offer insight into some of the foundational beliefs that take shape within Redemption Church:

1. All of life is all for Jesus
Faith in Jesus cannot be relegated to a private experience on Sundays; it is fundamental to our day to day lives. There is no area in all of the cosmos1 that is exempt from Christ’s reign.

2. We take God seriously but not ourselves
Chronic seriousness is often a symptom of chronic insecurity. There is one LORD over all who demands our loyalty and even he told jokes and went to parties. We are free to have serious fun.

3. We have nothing to prove and no one to impress
As a people saved by grace, we are enabled to be free from striving to maintain our reputations and appearances. We live for an audience of One and trust him with our image.

4. There are no little people and no little places
Every single person is made in the image of God and deserves to be treated with the dignity with which we would treat God himself. There is no hierarchy when it comes to our humanity.

5. We are called to do the Lord’s work the Lord’s way
Ends do not justify means; the outcomes belong to the Lord. We will treat one another like holistic humans and not compromise on this in order to seek results or growth.

6. Life is naturally supernatural
God meets us in the ordinary — bread and wine, homes and hallways, ink and page, and in conversations and hugs. Creation is charged with God’s presence.

Multi-Congregational Structure

As one church, we meet in many locations. As one church, we’re united in doctrine, in teaching, in core values, and in mission. But we allow for a diverse expression of those identities in each of the Redemption Congregations. Everything at Redemption Church can be classified in one of the following three categories:

Centralized
These are things done the same way, overseen by a centralized department.

Unified
These are things done the same way, overseen by the local leadership.

Decentralized
These are things done in different ways, overseen by local leadership.

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Lead Pastor
Tyler Johnson serves as the Lead Pastor of Redemption Church Arizona.

The Leadership Team
Redemption Church is overseen by a group of qualified male elders who focus on the needs and direction of the church as a whole (all congregations). Tyler Johnson leads this team. It is made up of the Lead Pastor(s) from each congregation and/or others who serve in Central Operations.

Local Congregational Leadership
Each Redemption Congregation is led by a local Lead Pastor(s) and a team of elders.

Mission & Vision

Redemption Church is structured to support the birth and sustainable health of local churches. Our focus is not on the advancement of a singular brand or ideology but rather an intentional investment in unique local congregations through leadership development programs, pastoral residencies, relational networks and collectives, leadership assessment, theological education, as well as the selective provision of resources and infrastructure. These investments are made not only for the sake of Redemption Church congregations – existing and new – but also churches outside the Redemption family with whom we have a relationship. We are, after all, partners in the Gospel (Philippians 1:3-6).

Local Expressions
Each local congregation is a unique expression of the church, sent to embody the Gospel in a particular context.

Churches are living communities of unique people within a particular cultural context, gathered in a common pursuit of knowing and honoring Jesus. Therefore, we do not view local congregations simply as generic distribution centers of religious goods and services. We celebrate the truth that as each congregation is shaped by its people and context it is equipped better than anyone else for the missionary task of translating and embodying the Gospel in its neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, etc. On a broad level, a diversity of truly local congregations united in Gospel partnership brings vibrancy and health to the greater body, adding fullness to its witness.

“Redemption Church” is to be understood as more of a family name than a brand name. Thus, each Redemption Congregation will look and feel differently on the grounds of both context and leadership; each congregation should feel like Redemption Church in that context under that leadership.

Kingdom Vision
Simply put, we desire to see healthy, new churches in new places for new people.

More specifically, we desire to lead and equip the establishment of Gospel-Centered, Reformed, Missional churches through the planting of new Redemption Congregations as well as Non- Redemption church plants. We will facilitate this primarily through the training of leaders and through financial support.

Outward Focus

From the beginning, the purpose of humanity was outward focused. Adam and Eve had a calling, a vocation, to exercise dominion over creation, what theologians have called the Cultural Mandate, uncovering and developing its latent goodness as image bearers of God Most High. Yet, shortly thereafter, Adam and Eve chose to hide, to turn inward, away from the task the God of the universe had given to them. Rather than love the Lord, they chose to use creation as a means of separating themselves from the Father. The brokenness that ensued from their rebellion is what created the need for redemption in the first place.

God’s mission is cosmic in scope because sin is cosmic in scope. The gospel must not be reduced to an evangelistic tool or confused as an ambiguous self-help mantra. It is the true story of the whole world and shapes our understanding of who we are, why we’re here, where we’re going, and what it all means.

In that gospel story, sin is worse than we tend to think: it is more than merely individuals doing bad things; it is cosmic disintegration. Our God is on mission to heal creation. God also has a people, and we, as his people, are called to participate in that mission. Wherever the curse of sin is found, there is our invitation into God’s mission of redemption, both in terms of working against the ways that we have organized ourselves sinfully as a society and in terms of how we have built our lives apart from the Lord as individuals. We are a sent people, charged by Christ himself to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth, to make disciples and teach them to obey all that he commanded. We are missionaries, every one of us.

Our goal is both to invite people into the community of believers and to send the church out to be with non-believing people – in their families, workplaces, schools – as true followers of Christ. For this reason, we focus on equipping and training people for the work of ministry rather than keeping them busy with church functions and activities. We want our people to live their real lives with gospel intentionality and be equipped and freed to do just that. We, by the grace of God, can still participate in exercising dominion over creation as we love our neighbors not only by doing “good works” but also by doing “good work” in the places to which God has sent us.

It would be easy for us to turn inward, huddle together in a safe community, and celebrate ourselves. But that is not what we’re called to. We’re called to “Go.” And so we will go, honoring Jesus as King in every aspect of our lives, bringing the good news to everyone who has ears to hear, and striving to see the restoration of our families, cities, businesses, the arts, and beyond.

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