Subject: West Side Update — Changed Lives (Rise Campaign, March 7)

Redeemer West Side
7 March 2016
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Hello ,

Yesterday was our first Sunday together since we launched the RISE campaign last Monday. During this season, we will examine our core values and how they inform our church and lives. This week we are looking at the aspect of our vision called "Changed Lives": the idea that a Christian is someone who has had a personal, life-changing encounter with Jesus. An encounter so radical that Jesus himself calls the experience being "born again"—a term that is sometimes met with a combination of confusion and scorn. In fact, in her new book Strange Gods, Susan Jacoby calls all "religious conversion" coercion and the equivalent of believing in "goofy religious myths."

But those who have had an encounter with Jesus know that it is the opposite of coercion, for what we find at the heart of the gospel is the self-sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, who put our wellbeing ahead of his comfort. This is why Thomas Chalmers summarized the conversion to Christianity this way:

"The only way to dispossess the heart of an old affection is by the expulsive power of a new one... ."

In other words, it is Christ’s love for us that becomes the primary dynamic of our lives. This is the good news we want to share with those in our city, an eternal love that heals our deepest shame and calms our darkest fear.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. –I John 4:10

In Christ,

David Bisgrove
West Side Congregation Lead Pastor

Pray

As we think about how the gospel works in our hearts to mold us and shape us into the people God wants us to be, we pray that our idols would be deconstructed and we would find our identity in Christ. As God refines our hearts we ask that he would help us to see the role he wants each of us to fulfill in this gospel movement in the city. Please take time this week to pray for God to bring a season of renewal in our church and our city:

  • Father help me to see the places where I have put something else at the center of my life other than Christ and bring me to genuine repentance where your Spirit renews my thoughts.
  • Father refine the way each of our congregations do ministry so that Redeemer embodies the gospel in new ways making us more like the church you desire us to be.
  • Father work in the hearts of our friends, neighbors and families all across the city to prepare them to receive the gospel in life changing ways.
Engage

We’ve officially started the RISE campaign, a gospel movement for the good of the whole city. And we need you to be part of this grand story of redemption happening in our city. Click here to say, "I'm in." 

  • Add daily RISE devotionals to your calendar. These devotionals reflect on the sermon passage for five days each week to help us go deeper with the teaching we receive on Sundays. Go to: rise.redeemer.com/devos
  • Have you seen the RISE campaign video? If not, check it out at: rise.redeemer.com/rise-campaign-video
Stories God's heart is for the vulnerable; we pray He can use us to express that—and reflect more of His goodness in this city. --IN SEON AND JANE
Andrew Miller
Redeemer's Vision
As a church of Jesus Christ, Redeemer exists to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world.
West Side Congregation
Church Offices | 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor | New York, NY 10036
Sunday Worship Services | W83 Ministry Center | 150 W. 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024