April 28, 2015.
In February of 2014, I packed a church van full of young people and set off for Missions Week on the Golden Gate Seminary campus. It was a pivotal trip. We attended workshops and sessions. We helped a church plant and we slept in a poor part of San Francisco. I met Dr. Richard Johnston and Pastor James Soy. Dr. Irog and Dr. Wilson encouraged me to apply for the Doctorate of Ministry program, and I did. (Dr. Iorg also tried to convince an intern on my staff to transfer to Golden Gate; but so, far that hasn't happened.) A young man in our group demonstrated that he can lead worship. We discussed the missional nature of church planting and Risen Life's role in that. And we prayed a lot.
The group was from Risen Life Church. I was on staff. My job was to learn and grow in preparation to plant a church.
Upon our return, we started a Bible study group in my home with the purpose of examining what it might take to plant a church in another part of Salt Lake City. The Barnabas House Fellowship was the name of our study. We journeyed through the book of Acts with Elmer Town's book, Churches that Multiply as a supplement.
The group grew as people came and went. Some were simply not called to church planting. Others were only in it for the excitement of the newest, shinny thing. But some were there in the beginning and are still a part of our core team today. (More than I expected, actually!)
Eventually we outgrew our house and it became apparent that God was calling this group to plant a church. We worked through all kinds of details. Eventually we settle on the name, Redeeming Life Church. ([R] for short.)
We started meeting on Sunday afternoons in the Risen Life Church building. It was a special time because we saw God do some amazing things. People were saved. Believers were baptized. And our core team grew stronger and stronger.
Then something happened. God brought people from the Rose Park area all the way across the valley to worship with us. We knew what was coming. God was calling us to the Rose Park area of Salt Lake. It was time to move out of the Risen Life building.
Risen Life released me from their staff and commissioned me as the pastor of this new church. My family, as well as other families of the core team moved into the neighborhood. We started doing evangelism in our target area to include a campaign that resulted in us hanging 5,000 door hangers. We invited the neighborhood to our Easter Sunrise service.
We've spend the past three weeks meeting in the Northwest Community Center in preparation for our 'public launch.' It's funny because in church planting language, this point is thought of as the day the church plant starts. But we've been a church seedling for a while and we feel more like May 3rd is the day we stop saying 'plant' and just say 'church,' Redeeming Life Church.
I'm thrilled to see what God might do with this little church in Rose Park. If you live in the area, we'd love it if you'd be our guest. Our Sunday Gathering starts at 11am. We're praying that God is calling you to join us in this mission. Or maybe you don't live in the area but he's calling you to help us in some other way. And please, keep us in your prayers.
Soli Deo gloria!
Salty Believer and Pastor of Redeeming Life Church