Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Redeemer Church Closing

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. And there really is no easy way to say it, but Redeemer Church is officially closing. This was not a decision that was made lightly, and we are trusting the Lord in His leading to transition down our church. Mike and I poured our heart and soul into the church, and it has been hard not to see it flourish the way we had hoped. God has done great things in and through our church family, but we ultimately faced some hurdles we could not overcome.

Because my husband is better at explaining things, below is the letter we sent to our supporters {which can also be found on our website}:

Over the past three years, Erin and I have had the privilege of seeing Jesus work many miracles, both in our lives and in those He has blessed us to walk alongside.  God has brought people to a saving knowledge of Himself, fanned the flame of discipleship in those who already believed, and grown his Church into a greater faith and devotion to its King.  He has worked in us to serve families in need in our community, proclaim the gospel to our city, and see the name of Jesus magnified in neighborhoods, offices, and campuses around our town.  God has been faithful to us in trials and triumphs, successes and set-backs, and Erin and I have grown deeper in our love and affection for Jesus by being able to be a part of this great work of God. 
However, this work of God was not without its challenges.  Early on after the launch of Redeemer, we saw some big hurdles we would need to overcome in order to be a healthy, New Testament church that was fulfilling its mission of being and making disciples of Jesus.  Namely, these hurdles were a desperate need for mature, godly leadership and a greater number of families involved in helping us be a missional and impactful, young church in our city.  While we prayed, fasted and fought hard to see God bring these needed aspects of our church over many months, in His goodness He has chosen not to provide these means, and so we have reached a point were a transition is necessary.  We have decided as a church that before we end up in a place of burn-out, disunity and potential disillusionment, we will take a step of faith and end Redeemer Church while remaining committed to one another in our pursuits of finding other local church homes in which to grow and serve.  By Gods grace, our church family still loves Jesus and loves each other, and so we believe this is the greatest time to walk through this transition together as a unified family.

This means that as of November 1st, Redeemer Church will no longer exist as a church family.

Our last worship service will be Saturday, September 27th and then our families will meet together for the following 4 weeks to encourage one another and spur each other on to take what God has done in our lives to wherever He might lead us next. Whether or not Redeemer is alive as an organization, our commitment to our mission will remain the same, because we believe it is the mission Jesus gives to all believers. We are to be disciples who make disciples. And that will always and forever be our commitment to each other. While we may not be members of Redeemer Church, we will forever be members of our Redeemers church.

We ask that you would continue to pray for us as the Enemy would love nothing more than to come in and discourage and distract us during this time. For those that are financial partners, we sincerely thank you for your commitment to us, and know that your gifts brought eternal life change to many people. We could not have been the light in the city we were able to be without you. Your gifts have not just impacted our past, but are part of God growing, maturing and equipping us for the ministry he has for us in the next season. Your investment has paid great Kingdom dividends and continues to do so. For those supporting us in regular giving, you may stop any payments immediately, but ask that you would at least discontinue payments by Oct. 15th. Any and all funds and assets Redeemer Church has will be donated to continuing the mission of the gospel in our community through church planting and serving those in need.

God is good, has been good and will always be good.  While no one who helped plant Redeemer wanted this outcome, we get a chance now to put our money where our mouth is as we have always said, Its not about us or about Redeemer Church, but its about Jesus.  We get to prove that is the case by trusting Him in this next transition as we continue seeking Jesus and His fame in our lives.  We are not done - not by a long shot.  We will continue to pursue Christ, share the hope we have in Him with a dying world, and serve those in need.  Now it will be done through joining other local churches.  Gods Church is still marching forward!

Thank you to all who have supported us and to God be the glory, great things He has done.

There are inevitably a lot of questions, and we are doing our best to answer all of them as they come. This has been an incredibly difficult time for us and our church family, but God is gracious and has walked with us every step of the way. Like Mike stated in the letter, no one wanted this outcome; but we wholeheartedly believe that God is being glorified even in the misdt of these sad and difficult circumstances.

We took a huge leap of faith, moving to McKinney and starting a church at the Lord's leading. We left our friends, our church family, and our ministries to follow God's call to make disciples in McKinney. And while the outcome of the church was not what we had expected, we did see the Lord work in the lives of the people He placed in our path. We have learned so much over the past 3 years, about living out the gospel, being and making disciples, loving and serving others. While there are things we may have done differently in the process of planting a church, I know that both Mike and I would do it over again to be obedient to the Lord. It's hard for our human minds to comprehend that a seeming failure is a win for Jesus, but history is filled with "failures" that God has used for His purposes. Ministry is hard, but God doesn't waste anything. We are confident that He will use what He has taught us through planting {and now closing} Redeemer Church in whatever He has planned for us next.

The lingering question now is "what next?" And the simple answer is that "we don't know yet." Mike and I are walking our church family through the transition of plugging into other local churches and ministries. We will then take some time to rest/heal our bodies and souls before we begin seeking the Lord for where He is calling us next. We are sad for what is lost in Redeemer Church, but we are excited about what the Lord has planned for us in the future. God is good, and I can say with confidence that He is all we need.

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