The Mission and Structure of Redemption Church

Sean Mortenson / January 21, 2016

The Mission of Redemption Church

Redemption Church exists to glorify God by strengthening and birthing healthy local congregations.

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 on 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 that we have relationship with. We are, after all, partners in the Gospel. (Philippians 1:3-6)

Truly Local Congregations

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.

The Mission of Local Congregations

The goal of each local congregation is to multiply healthy disciples and leaders who are released to do the work of ministry.

The purpose of the local church is not to maximize numbers, budgets, or buildings. It is not even to reach more people. It is to make disciples who say with their mouths and lives, “Jesus is Lord.” This is the metric by which the faithfulness and success of the church must be measured: are we making disciples? This is not the goal of church leaders only, but all members of the body of Christ. All are sent as Christ’s ambassadors, called to make disciples. The role of leadership is to equip Christians for this work of spiritual multiplication. Healthy disciples make healthy disciples, who make healthy disciples…

The Boundaries That Unify Congregations

The local congregations of Redemption Church build, cultivate, and contextualize their ministry within four established boundaries.

The leaders of Redemption Church congregations are charged with the creative task of building and sustaining a healthy expression of the body of Christ in their context. To help ensure the unity of our diverse congregations – the benefits of which are discussed later – boundaries have been established that help define the space in which local congregations have freedom to contextualize their ministry. These boundaries are meant to empower leaders with clarity, direction, and resources rather than limit them with constraints. They are in place to help the multiplication of healthy disciples and leaders who do the work of ministry in their local church. The established boundaries are found in four main categories:

 

1. Covenant – We are bound together as one legal entity with shared resources.
2. Beliefs and Practices – We operate from the same foundation in the Gospel.
3. Culture – We have shared values and expectations.
4. Communication – We speak the same language and present a consistent message.

The Benefit(s) of a Central Governing Body

Central Operations provide structure, expertise, and services to support and empower the ministry of local congregations.

Central Operations are structured to support and empower local congregations in the freedom that has been given to them. This is done by efficiently meeting common needs with centralized leadership, freeing congregations of the burden to dedicate energy, resources, and/or staff to meet those needs locally. Central Operations are intentionally minimal to reduce the financial burden placed on the local congregations, who contribute a percentage of their budget to fund it. Currently in Redemption Church, facility maintainance, media and communications, legal and finance, and Outward Focus Ministries (missions) are a part of Central Operations. Central Operations provides a tremendous support structure for the birthing of new Redemption congregations.

The Benefit(s) of Congregations in Covenant

Redemption congregations enrich one another by sharing knowledge, creativity, leadership, and burdens.

As stated earlier, Redemption congregations share a common foundation and covenant bond. Their futures are bound together. But there are also very clear ways that the congregations bless one another in the day-to-day life and work of ministry. Perhaps the most consistent impact comes through the intentional interaction of Collectives, where leaders who carry similar responsibilites within their respective congregations gather for relational support, collaborations, and dialog regarding best practices. Preachers, for example, gather every week to pray and compare notes. Leaders are able to share knowledge and creativity, learn from one another’s successes and failures, celebrate together and encourage one another. The congregations of Redemption are better together.
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