Blog

Andy Bean

Andy Bean Andy a Staff Deacon and the Director of Communications at Redeemer. He has been on staff since 2010 and is responsible for all communications for the church - print, web, and creative media. Andy is from Kansas City, and he and his wife Ashley make their home in the Squier Park neighborhood of Midtown KC.

Why Projection?

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If you attended either congregation on Sunday you heard the announcement: beginning this Sunday, we will be phasing out our printed worship guide and will begin projecting song lyrics and prayers in our Sunday services.

We wanted to take a moment and explain why. If you’d like to download or share this information in PDF format, you may do so by clicking here.

When we opened our doors in June of 2008, we did something unusual for a new church plant in the 21st century—we decided to not put a screen in our Sanctuary.

At the time, our desire was to set apart an hour and a half every week where our people did not face a screen. Instead, we put a printed guide in their hands—complete with words to songs, prayers, places for sermon notes, and announcements.

Looking back nine years later, it is clear that the worship guide was a strategy that has served us really well.

However, while vision stays the same, strategies often change. Over the next several weeks we will phase out our printed worship guide and begin projecting lyrics and prayers onto screens at both congregations.

As you can imagine, the logistics of printing weekly worship guides are complex. At present, we print over 50,000 pages every week—a process that begins at least ten days before a Sunday service. But the reason we are changing our strategy is not driven by logistics.

We have always been committed to the strategy that best serves our mission, not the strategy that is the easiest or even the most efficient. There are numerous benefits we see coming from this transition, but there are really two that stand out, and have driven the decision to make this change.

WORSHIP LEADER DEVELOPMENT

We are committed to the truth that gathered worship plays a vital role in spiritual formation. One of the central ways that happens on a Sunday is by intentional, empowered leadership in our worship gatherings. Empowered leadership necessitates qualified and competent leaders who bring their own voice, their own presence, and their own gifting to their particular area of leadership (this is, consequently, true across the board). At present, our worship guide provides significant barriers to our different worship leaders fully leading in this way. During any given service, the worship leader is leading from songs and prayers that were chosen as the most accessible for three separate teams that Sunday. Projecting lyrics and prayers on screens will allow each leader to shape a service in preparation, as well as in execution, allowing us to better train leaders to thoughtfully and prayerfully plan and lead our people in the formative practices of worship.

PASTORAL PRESENCE & LEADERSHIP

Over the last several years, there have been many occasions where we felt unable to reshape our service in response to significant events or movements in the world (from our national conversation about race, to acts of terrorism or injustice around the world). Currently, we pick songs ten days out, and print our worship guides a week in advance. There have been several times when Sundays come around and the songs and prayers are not optimal to the tone needed for that day. While it is our commitment to not become tossed to and fro by every news cycle—sometimes the most prophetic thing we can do is not address something, and root our lives and our stories in the gospel of Christ’s kingdom—there are moments where silence is a missed opportunity to address an issue, practice lament, or celebrate as a body.

This transition is not something we have done quickly or rashly.

It is a conversation we have been having as a leadership team for nearly three years now. We understand that in changing our method here we do lose something—something that is beautiful and has served us well. However, we are convinced that the opportunities we lose by not changing this strategy are greater than what we lose by changing it.

We pray that this change will be experienced for what it is—a change in our strategy, not a change in our mission. As with any transition, there is a place for sadness. Yet, we also pray that in implementing this change, we will create spaces for us to encounter and experience the transformative power of the Spirit, that we would be shaped into the image of Christ as a people, and be empowered to live on mission together for the glory of God and the good of Kansas City.

All Morning Services Cancelled

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UPDATE: All Redeemer Midtown evening services are still on! If you can make it safely, we would love to worship Jesus with you!

Redeemer Family—

Due to inclement weather headed into our area overnight, all Redeemer morning services are cancelled for Sunday, January 15, 2017. This includes both Redeemer Midtown and Redeemer Johnson County.

While it’s uncertain how significantly the ice storm will affect the Kansas City area, we do know that every week, hundreds of volunteers travel from across the metro to help host our services, and we hope that canceling our morning services will allow everyone, attenders and volunteers alike, to enjoy a safe morning at home with their friends and families!

As of now, Redeemer Midtown’s 5 & 7 pm services are scheduled to continue. We will evaluate the situation and communicate any evening cancellations by mid-day tomorrow!

Best,

Andy Bean
Director of Operations & Communication

Church Planting Sunday 2016

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Since day one of Redeemer Fellowship we have shared a commitment to Church Planting. As a church plant ourselves, we’re committed to seeing communities of believers raised up all over the globe who work to see God glorified and their cities become better places to be.

There are several expressions of this commitment we want to highlight today.

First, 10% of our annual budget is allocated for church planting and kingdom partnerships. This year, that’s $350,000!

Fellowship Associates

One primary partnership is with Fellowship Associates. The Fellowship Associates residency was born in 1999 in Little Rock, AR, out of a commitment to develop and release church planters all over the world. Since then, dozens of leaders and dozens of churches have been planted, and Redeemer Fellowship is one of them.

Each year, we give money to Fellowship Associates, as well as host their group of residents three times in Kansas City for training and development.

In addition, we have growing networks of church planters from around the country that we are partnering with. This Sunday, our church will have the opportunity to hear from three of them. At both Redeemer JOCO and Redeemer Midtown, we will welcome church planters who will preach across all our services.

2016 PARTNERSHIPS

Here is a list of church planters and churches we are partnering with this year. Take a moment to get to know these guys, pray for them, and consider ways you can support them. Maybe you know someone in their city, or maybe God is calling you to pack bags and move to help support one of these churches!

  • Thomas Anderson | DC Metro Area | Email Thomas
  • Drew Cline | Little Rock, AR | Email Drew
  • Brad Edwards | The Table Church | Boulder, CO | Email Brad
  • Rechab Gray | Epiphany Fellowship | Philadelphia, PA | Email Rechab
  • Daniel Hood | Hill City Church | Springfield, MO | Email Daniel
  • Watson Jones | Restoration Church | Philadelphia, PA | Email Watson
  • Rob Maine | Renaissance Church | Pittsburgh, PA | Email Rob
  • Joe Marino | The Well | Hastings, NE | Email Joe
  • Samuel Oricco | Xalapa, Mexico | Email Samuel
  • Bryan Padgett | Redeemer Church | Stillwater, OK | Email Bryan
  • Clint Patronella | Seven Mile Road Church | Boston, MA | Email Clint
  • Chris Poblete | Los Angeles, CA | Email Chris
  • Derrick Puckett | Renewal Church of Chicago | Chicago, IL | Email Derrick
  • Trent Senske | Minneapolis, MN | Email Trent
  • Charles Shannon | Norfolk, VA | Email Charles
  • Holy Week at Redeemer

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    EASTER 2016

    On March 27, our family will gather to celebrate the central reality of our faith: Jesus is alive! God raises the dead! He is Risen!

    Before we celebrate Resurrection Sunday, we join with the Church around the world in observing the days leading up to Easter morning. Here is a bit of what you can expect next week.

    PALM SUNDAY

    Sunday, 3/20 is Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday, we remember Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem (Mark 11). It is a day of irony, as see ourselves in the crowds that proclaim the kingship of Christ just days before they call for his crucifixion and death.

    Join us in Midtown at 9 am, 11 am, 5 pm, or 7 pm, and in Johnson County at 10 am.

    GOOD FRIDAY

    On Friday, 3/25, we will observe Good Friday with services at 5:30 and 7 pm at Redeemer Midtown. We will walk through the story of the betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of our Lord Jesus, with readings from Matthew’s gospel and with song.

    EASTER SUNDAY

    Join us as we celebrate Resurrection Sunday at Redeemer Midtown and Redeemer Johnson County.

    In Midtown, we will have services at 9 am, 11 am, 5 pm, and 7 pm, with an overflow room available during the 9 and 11 am services. Sign up to serve on Easter here.

    In Johnson County, we will have two services (instead of our usual single service) at 9 and 11 am. Sign up to serve on Easter here.

    We hope to see you next week! Take the opportunity to invite your friends and family, and we’ll see you on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

    Meet the 2016 Class of Fellowship Associates Residents

    In his 2002 article, “Why Plant Churches?“, Tim Keller writes, “Virtually all the great evangelistic challenges of the New Testament are basically calls to plant churches.” Keller observes, “Nothing else–not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes–will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting.

    It was this commitment to the mission of God that brought Kevin, Kris, and Wes to Kansas City to plant Redeemer in 2008. And in that effort, Redeemer had no stronger partner than an organization called Fellowship Associates.

    FELLOWSHIP ASSOCIATES

    The Fellowship Associates residency was born in 1999 in Little Rock, AR, out of a commitment to develop and release church planters all over the world. Since then, dozens of leaders and dozens of churches have been planted, and Redeemer Fellowship is one of them.

    In 2007, Kevin spent a year in Little Rock learning, visiting other churches, praying, and raising money. This time was instrumental in the planting of Redeemer, and since then, we’ve enjoyed a dynamic and growing partnership with this leadership initiative.

    MEET THE RESIDENTS

    This week, the 2016 class of residents spent three days in Kansas City to conclude their program for the year. And this Sunday, you will see profiles of this year’s class of residents at each congregation. Take a moment to get to know these guys, pray for them, and consider ways you can support them.

    Here are their names and where they are heading.

  • Curtis Allen – Washington, D.C.
  • Kason Branch – Fort Worth, TX
  • Kris Brossett – Los Angeles, CA
  • Mike Dsane – Torrence, CA
  • Rudy Garza – Denver, CO
  • Juan Maclean – Boston, MA
  • Samuel Orrico – Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
  • Josh Tovey – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Redeemer Stories | Gabrielle Morris

    We love sharing and hearing narratives from our community, as they provide tangible glimpses of how God is pursuing and transforming his people by his grace. Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring guest posts from several women in our community, describing how they have found deepened hope in Christ through a variety of everyday realities—work, marriage, children, singleness, and more.

    Today we are featuring a story from Gabrielle Morris. Gabrielle has been attending Redeemer for 7 years and has been married to her husband Calvin since April 2015. Gabrielle is a staff deacon at the Midtown campus and serves as Director of Midtown Ministries.

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    If the Apostle Paul is the Chief of Sinners, I am possibly his closest competition. God began a work in my heart at a young age, but as I grew older He shattered my expectation of what I thought He should be. I didn’t only turn away from the Lord: I ran from Him.

    Like most sin, I began with just testing God: “Will he still love me if I _______?” Quickly, I found my identity in a man. When that failed me I moved on to alcohol, and when that failed me, I found myself so deep in a pit of sin I scrambled to find anything that would help me crawl out.

    In God’s kindness to me, my deliverance did not happen overnight. He provided believing friends from unlikely places who began speaking into my life slowly. Though I was still entrenched in sin that I refused to relinquish, the Lord never stopped pursuing me. It wasn’t until three years after what I consider my darkest that my heart began to soften towards Jesus. I began what felt like inching towards Him, but my line in the sand was that I would not go to church.

    In the spring of 2008, the woman I now consider my closest friend told me about a group of people starting a church in Midtown, just down the street from where we were sitting. She told me how much they desperately loved Jesus and wanted the City to come to know Him. She begged me to come with her. In a not-so-kind way I said, “No.” In my mind, there was no way I would ever step foot in a church that thought they could survive in the City.

    And so, even as the truth of Jesus was slowly settling into my heart, I kept running. By the fall of 2008, I was living with a man that was abusive. I knew I shouldn’t date him, let alone move in with him, but I loved that his brokenness shadowed my shame. Through friends speaking truth to me, I eventually tried to leave him, but I felt trapped. It was there I was confronted with the reality of who Jesus is. Everything I tried to wrap my identity in was no match for who He is and what he is able to do.

    I began praying for deliverance from my relationship. It was the first time I prayed every day. I watched my prayer transform from “Get me out of this,” to “Show me why I am here,” and I felt completely abandoned and forgotten. Until one morning, the boyfriend just let me leave. In God’s kindness, I was able to move out, and that guy never reached out to me again.

    During that relationship, I began attending Redeemer consistently. As I heard the gospel preached week in and week out, God began to soften my heart and draw me to him. God provided my breakup, he provided a new housing situation in a home with Christian women, and he brought me deeper into community at Redeemer. 

    Over the next few years, God also transformed my heart toward hospitality and how it could be lived out. I began serving on a ministry team, and in 2014, I received an invitation to come on staff at Redeemer as the Director of Midtown Ministries.

    Around that time, I also met Calvin Morris. At the beginning of our dating relationship I told him that for many, I had a lot in my story that would be considered a deal breaker. We shared stories and when I was finished with mine he said, “You know, God has extended grace to us so that we are able to extend grace to others. Consider yourself forgiven.”  Through so much of my life, I had experienced deep shame of how people would react to my story. But again, God was more kind than I deserved and showed me his ability to work in others to extend grace to me, the way he had done on the cross. We were married in April 2015, and Calvin has showed me grace thousands of times since.

    Thankfully, my story of redemption is not over. I am in need of Jesus’ grace just as much now as I was then, but now I am able to rest in Him while getting to know Him more deeply.

    Even when I didn’t want him, He knew my path and kept me close.

    Redeemer Stories | Ron & Abby Downing

    If you were at our Midtown congregation yesterday, or Johnson County two weeks ago, you had the opportunity to meet our newest staff member: Ron Downing has joined our team as our new Executive Director of Worship!

    This announcement is the culmination of two stories:

    The first is Ron and Abby’s story—how they both moved to Kansas City, met, started their family, and began to navigate God’s calling on their lives. This journey brought them to Redeemer in 2012, and then took them to Louisville, KY, where Ron attended seminary at Southern Seminary and they served at Sojourn Community Church.

    The second is the story of what God has been doing at Redeemer over the last seven years. In the midst of multiplying services and multiplying congregations, our Elders prayed for God to bring us a leader to provide broad direction and oversight to our worship across congregations. This role would also allow Wes Crawford to more specifically focus his efforts at Redeemer Midtown, and empower Mason Gentry to do the same in Johnson County.

    This summer, these two stories intersected, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Ron and Abby back to Kansas City and to our team.

    Check out the video above to hear a bit of Ron & Abby’s story, and be sure to say hello when you see them on a Sunday!

    Redeemer Stories | Lauren English

    We love sharing and hearing narratives from our community, as they provide tangible glimpses of how God is pursuing and transforming his people by his grace. Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring guest posts from several women in our community, describing how they have found deepened hope in Christ through a variety of everyday realities—work, marriage, children, singleness, and more.

    Today we are featuring a story from Lauren English. Lauren English and her husband Jordan live in Liberty, MO, and are expecting their first child in March. They have been attending Redeemer for three years.
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    For as long as I can remember, I have been a perfectionist. In elementary school, I made my mom braid my hair over and over until it was free of even the smallest bump. In middle school and high school, I poured myself into being the all-around perfect student: excellent grades, perfect friends, and the perfect youth group girl. Even in college when God started to strip me of some of those tendencies, I still tried to be an example of Christian ministry, doing all I could to be the best youth leader I could be. None of those things brought me the wholeness and fullness I desired, but I still kept running after them.

    As you can probably imagine, when I got engaged and married a year after I graduated college, those perfectionist tendencies didn’t exactly go away.

    I started pouring all my energy into making sure my marriage was perfect and lived up to all the expectations I had for our new life as husband and wife. I expected my husband to be the most loving, romantic, and thoughtful husband that ever existed. I expected myself to be the most humble, loving, and encouraging wife in the history of wives.

    I expected everything about our marriage, from companionship and adventure to intimacy and communication, to fill me and finally make me feel whole. And it completely blew up in our faces.

    My husband felt weighed down by the heavy expectations I was placing on his shoulders, even if I didn’t realize it. He felt like no matter what he did, he couldn’t live up to my expectations, so he was failing me as a husband. I felt a gnawing discontent starting to grow in my heart. I felt guilty for weighing Jordan down with my expectations, but I didn’t know how to stop. I was deeply disappointed that marriage hadn’t filled me in all the ways I hoped it would, and I grew angry at God for not “fixing” my marriage so it would live up to my expectations.

    The high expectations I had of my marriage and my husband led to a season of deep discontent and distance from God that ultimately turned into depression. After almost a year of marriage, we decided to seek marriage counseling.

    I’ll be honest, meeting with a counselor was not easy. She didn’t just give us a list of things to “fix” the places where we were hurting and broken, which is maybe what my perfectionist self would have preferred. Instead, she asked us real questions about the expectations we had of each other, marriage, and God. The deeper we dove into those issues, the more we started to see places where our expectations were hurting us.

    We saw how our expectations for each other led us to feel like failures in marriage and in general. We saw how our expectations of marriage had become an idol, one we thought could satisfy us in a way it was never intended. Finally, I started to see how my expectation that God mold my life to fit my standards of perfection was leading to a lack of trust, distance, and even frustration and anger in my relationship with Him.

    Our counselor helped clear away the hurt and confusion that had built up during that first year so we could see more clearly God’s heart for us and for our marriage. We saw that while He deeply loves us and desires for our marriage to be healthy and beautiful, His ultimate heart is that we would find our satisfaction and wholeness in Him.

    Just like trying to be the perfect student or perfect Christian never filled me, trying to be the perfect wife with the perfect marriage wasn’t enough either. Walking through counseling helped my husband and me stop looking to each other and marriage to fill us, and instead to turn to Jesus with our identities, our longings, and our disappointments.

    The struggle with expectations still pops up, but we’re learning to let those hard moments point us to Jesus instead of away from Him. Our marriage reminds us over and over that He is the only one who can fill the longings in our hearts, and the joy we find in each other is just a tiny glimpse of the joy and fullness He offers.

    5 YEARS LATER: STORIES & OPPORTUNITIES FROM HAITI

    January 12, 2015 marked the fifth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. This 7.0 magnitude earthquake took over 300,000 lives, and although Haiti has faded from the public eye, the process of rebuilding and developing the country continues. Redeemer has had the opportunity to be a part of it since 2010. In the last five years we’ve had the privilege of partnering with a children’s village and a local church in a city called Gonaives.


    What does it look like to partner with a local church in Haiti?

    In a country with needs so complex, is there hope for long-term renewal?

    Why does it matter?

    Join us this Sunday at Redeemer Midtown at 10:30 am or 6:30 pm in Room 100 to hear about the unique complexity and opportunities with partnering with a local church in Haiti. We hope to see you there!

    Intern at Redeemer Fellowship This Summer

    In speaking with other leaders, one of the common conversations that comes up has to do with the rhythms of our church and our staff. From the energy that comes with a new school year, to the opportunities we have to join the Christian church around the world in the celebration and reflection throughout the liturgical year, every season brings new and unique opportunities for ministry.

    Summer is no different, and in fact, summer creates some of our favorite opportunities for developing young leaders in our city. One of the ways we do this is through Summer Ministry Internships.

    We asked one of our interns to share a bit about how he has grown throughout his internship at Redeemer.


    I’m a student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have been an intern with our Care and Counseling ministry this year. I want to be in local church ministry, so I wanted to do the internship because I saw the potential to aid my pastoral ministry experience. I’ve had some really cool chances to teach in various classes and sit in on counseling sessions. In doing these, I have better learned how to counsel and walk with people through difficult seasons of their life.

    The goal of these internships is to expose, equip, and assess aspiring leaders with hands-on ministry experience in the context of a local church. Interns will participate in collaborative projects and team development as they work with a variety of staff members across many of our ministries. They will gain experience and exposure with small group ministry, community development, care and counseling, and more.

    Overall, the internship has been incredible. I’ve been developed in everything from administrative and communication skills to a much broader understanding of what day-to-day pastoral life looks like. Beyond these things I further discovered Jesus Christ’s transforming power and how local church ministry plays an essential role in God’s handiwork. I imagine the growth I’ve gained through this internship to show up in various ways later down the road in ways I cannot even imagine.

    INTERN WITH US THIS SUMMER

    This summer we are accepting several interns for an eight-week ministry internship that begins on June 1 and ends on July 31. All the information you need, as well as instructions on how to apply can by found by visiting redeemerkansascity.org/intern. God is changing lives at Redeemer. We hope you, or someone you know, will come be a part of it this summer!