Not a church for ourselves, but for people who don’t like church.

Here is something that has made me think:

Redeemer [the name of the writer’s Church in New York] was founded on the principle that “we are not a church for ourselves, but for people who don’t like church.” From the very first days… that commitment has been the foundation beneath all of Redeemer’s priorities. We have never sought to gather those who already believe, or take people away from other churches, but to address the secular, skeptical ‘New Yorker’ who would ordinarily not attend church.

Because of this foundational commitment, God has given Redeemer the rare gift of being able to communicate the gospel plausibly and persuasively to people in the most difficult to reach demographic in the country. But this comes with a price. It means that we must always remind ourselves that we inside the Church are not to put our own likes, dislikes, priorities and personal agendas ahead of the needs of those outside the church. This is difficult to the point of being nearly impossible, as the needs and desires of members (for series and budget and training and attention from leaders) will always be more visible and voluble than the needs of people who aren’t even there and mostly are unable to articulate their spiritual needs.

Wendy Keller.  Taken from the Redeemer Church website, and quoted in a book I have just finished reading, Ready Steady Grow by Ray Evans.
ready steady grow

4 thoughts on “Not a church for ourselves, but for people who don’t like church.”

  1. I really like the bit, ‘We inside the Church are not to put our own likes, dislikes, priorities and personal agendas ahead of the needs of those outside the church who are less visible and are mostly unable to articulate their spiritual needs’.

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    1. You’re right, part of our values are that we are all journeying, all accepted, all ‘in it’, there’s space for each one to contribute, visitors are welcome and comfortable, and we design the gatherings with seekers in mind. It’s just easy to unintentionally use a phrase that means nothing to a newcomer, or choose a song because we ourselves like it…
      I just thought this lady sounded like she knew what she was talking about, it was experienced wisdom.

      Like

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