“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.