We exist as a family of faith that follows Jesus and helps others find Him by living all of life as missionaries of hope.
I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare...”
We live in a brave new world, a new cultural and spiritual terrain where things once considered of value are irrelevant, absolute truth is seen as an archaic myth, churches look more like monuments than mission agencies, and the people of God often feel out of place and out of touch with the changing world around them. Many people long for a more dynamic connection to spirituality, but harbor deep suspicions of institutions or organizations. In response to this aversion and their own brokenness, they follow paths of life that take the deepest longing of the soul for God, and seek to satiate their desire with lesser saviors such as health, success, financial security, intellectualism, or religiosity.
None of this is new or surprising to God.
Thousands of years ago God writes to His people in a similar position. They are in a strange land, unknown and foreign. They don't speak the language, they are enslaved to captors who have taken them far from home, they are tempted to worship false gods, and they are fearful and hopeless. Yet in the midst of Israel's captivity, God speaks a message of hope and a promise of redemption through Isaiah that is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.
In the midst of this brave new world, God tells us He has a mission and we have a part to play in it. He says He has given us to the people in our proximity as a promise to them, a promise that God loves them unconditionally. He has equipped us to be beacons of light that shine brightly in the darkness. We are given the strength and power by God's Spirit to open our own blind eyes to see a closer vision of Gospel truth, and then offer others a peek into the telescope. We are invited to walk out of the dungeon where we ourselves have been enslaved by our own desires and idolatry, and into the freedom Christ offers through His grace while inviting others to come with us. As we do this, God's glory is certain. His calling is sure. His authority is unrelenting. He gives us the gift to believe the Gospel and receive His grace, and then respond to it with a life lived on mission while looking outwards towards our friends and neighbors.
This is why He has placed us in Clarksville: to create engaging spaces for people who would never step foot inside of a church to explore spirituality, to foster environments to cultivate disciples, and to equip followers of Jesus to share their faith and live life on the front lines of discipleship, mission, and service in their neighborhoods and the world.
There is a new thing happening. Are you ready?
Estuaries are often the most volatile place in the ocean, but they are also the most nutrient rich. When the turbulence and tension of fresh and salt water meet, there is a unique ecosystem for growth. This is what should happen with a healthy family that is focused on helping others explore the message of Jesus.
People need a place to safely explore God, faith, and Jesus. Those spaces are not always easy or comfortable, but they are necessary for all of us to grow. Redeeming Hope seeks to be a place where anyone, of any faith background or orientation, can come and sincerely and genuinely explore the teachings of Jesus for themselves. We seek to be this estuary, a safe place for the spiritually curious to learn, grow, share, and engage with the story and the people of Jesus. This is why we share our disclaimers at every Gathering or Group.
If someone chooses to follow Jesus, what’s next? The Scriptures talk about “being a disciple” of Jesus, but what does that mean?
The word for 'disciple' in the Greek is μαθητής, literally meaning one who follows the teaching of another. Jesus physically invites people to "follow me" as He spiritually leads them into understanding His Kingdom (or new way of living). This leads us to view being a disciple as simply being a follower of Jesus' life and teachings, and discipleship is helping others take the next step towards Jesus. Taking the next step towards Jesus and helping others in our proximity to do the same is the first and primary goal of reaching Clarksville with the hope of Jesus. This is discipleship.
A disciple of Jesus consistently does three things:
Receives the Good News Of Jesus
Responds to the Good News of Jesus
Reproduces the Good News of Jesus in others
Receiving the Good News of Jesus means that we continuously are reminding ourselves of what God has done for us. Our hearts are forgetful, and we consistently need to repent of ways we try to save ourselves (or look to others for our salvation) and return to Jesus. Personally, this looks like reading the Scriptures, praying and communicating with God, and giving our time and things back to Him in worship. Corporately, this means attending one of the Gatherings where we are intentionally reminded of the Gospel on a weekly basis. And communally, this means being involved in a Group where we are held accountable to receiving this Good News regularly with people who love us, know us, and pray for us.
Responding to the Good News of Jesus means that we seek to love God and love others with the love we have already been given. We all have a natural bent towards selfishness and self-centeredness, but seeking to serve others will break these habits over time. A disciple of Jesus will seek to love others in simple, measurable, and sustainable ways. We provide opportunities to serve our church family at our weekly Gatherings. In our Groups, we ask that each participant share one simple, measurable way that they can love God or love their neighbor over the coming week, and other members of the group will graciously hold them accountable.
Reproducing the Good News of Jesus means that we don’t keep this message to ourselves. We all have a tendency towards a fear of others, but Jesus breaks this trepidation as we become more captivated by Him and His message. A disciple of Jesus shares his message with others. So, at every Gathering we share the Good News of Jesus and invite people to follow Jesus. In our Groups, we consistently ask the question “Who is Jesus calling you to reach out to this week” and “how are you going to do that”.
As followers of Jesus grow in knowledge and practice, they continuously need to be equipped to share their faith and live life on the front lines of discipleship, mission, and service in their neighborhoods and the world. We want people to follow a clear path towards spiritual maturity, personal growth in understanding and living out the Gospel, and multiplying disciples.
So, how will we raise up godly men and women from within the church who are theologically trained and Gospel-fluent to activate new works of the Gospel throughout Clarksville and beyond?
Good leadership has clearly defined metrics and goals. Within the ecosystem of a missionary environment, there must always be a ‘next step’ for a growing disciple and follower of Jesus to lead and multiply. There is a three-step approach we take on how to equip men and women for mission with the DNA of multiplication:
STEP 1: Group Leadership Pipeline
STEP 2: Seminary Without Walls
STEP 3: Local Church Leadership + Planting Churches
Step 1: Group Leadership Pipeline
The first step for a growing and maturing disciple of Jesus to be equipped for mission is to join a Group. Regardless of maturity or experience, every member of Redeeming Hope initially joins a Group and serves, learns, and engages on mission together with others. Over time, and with demonstrated faithfulness, some will rise as leaders. These budding leaders will have dedicated times to be trained, apprenticed, and given time to lead within their current groups before multiplying out.
Step 2: Seminary Without Walls
Once a person is successfully leading a Group, they need to continue to grow and be equipped as a leader with special training to help them in their role. Seminary Without Walls is a praxis-based approach for preparing ordinary people with Gospel-centered theology, practical ministry skills, and formed character to share the message of Jesus and lead in their spheres of influence. This training gives the framework for advanced leadership and elder development. This year-long pathway is how the church will become healthier, creating an incubator environment to see many people equipped on mission while growing in maturity and depth.
There are also unique cultural, spiritual, scriptural, and personal challenges that need to be addressed with specialized modules in addition to the broader training of SWW. Training such as Sonship (Gospel identity), Financial Peace University (financial coaching), APEST and DISC training (leadership identification), and Communicating Christ in a Secular Culture (preaching roundtable) are some examples of specialized training that will be employed to equip our leaders to move from leading people to leading leaders. These environments also help the broader family of Redeeming Hope become healthier and more mature.
Step 3: Local Church Leadership + Planting Churches
As a person has multiplied a Group and completed Seminary Without Walls, they might be empowered and equipped for local church leadership (such as leading a team, directing a ministry, being invited for elder candidacy, or potentially being hired on staff as a pastor or director).
For some who feel a strong internal call towards vocational ministry, they may pursue a residency through Redeeming Hope. As a church-planting church, we emphasize church planting and make strong attempts to put qualified leaders on a trajectory to start new families of faith. We utilize the Converge Assessment Center to partner with us in discerning this call towards church planting.
At every level of ministry, multiplication must be the metric of success. When everything from groups, leadership development, and team leadership ties back into multiplication, it will shape how we approach money, time, energy, and effort to move beyond the church and into the broader community to equip our members as missionaries to see every environment as a mission field.