When the Apostle Paul returned to Antioch following his first missionary journey, Acts 14:27-28 tells us, “And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they remained no little time with the disciples.” This is my hope in this post: that you would be able to linger in celebration of God’s work with us.
From before Redemption Hill Church even had a name, let alone worship services, we felt called to plant a church that would plant other churches. Starting new churches is done by planting the seeds of the gospel of Jesus Christ, cultivating them through hard work, and praying that God will grow them into a new local church. It takes a lot of work and significant resource investment. The time, work, and cost of a church plant double in major urban centers. I am amazed by the generosity of the Elders and Members of RHC who, just over two years into the work here in DC, are making significant contributions in partnership with two church planters.
This past Sunday was an exciting one for us at RHC. We were able to pray for Village Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Pastor Lucas Parks as they launched public services. Lucas has preached at RHC, and our members have loved the connection to another capital city. We are working toward a true partnership between our churches, one that goes beyond a financial commitment to include consistent prayer, coaching, and more. I love that when we announced the Village’s launch on Sunday our church burst into applause for Jesus’ work in Belfast. We are part of one family through Jesus.
We also commissioned Jesus (Chuy) Rodriguez to plant a church in Mexico City, another capital city. Chuy and his wife Karla have spent the last year and a half with us at Redemption Hill Church. In that time they were members of the church and we had the privilege of dedicating their two beautiful children, Joel and Luciana. Chuy completed a Church Planting Residency under the elders and pastors. As part of his residency, he completed intense theological training and became licensed in the EFCA. Chuy was also assessed for church planting through the Acts 29 Network and accepted as a candidate. I am convinced that there is no better process for assessing church planters than Acts 29's process. It has been amazing to see other churches join in supporting the Rodriguez family as they raised funds for the work ahead. Now the time has come for us to send him to his beloved home city to begin the work of planting a new church, a true extension of God’s work through Redemption Hill Church.
The gospel is advancing and Jesus is building His Church. There is no better news. There is no better mission. Linger with us in celebration!