Redeemer Fellowship’s mission, “To Make Disciples As Disciples”, is unpacked in three environments we call The Table, The Pulpit, and The Square. The Table is the environment of smaller gatherings of individuals who meet with the purpose of fellowship, discipleship, and community. We call it “The Table” because most of these gatherings happen around a table: a coffee table, dining room table, a coffee shop table, etc. This environment leans more inward than outward in terms of the people involved. This is often the context in which individuals are personally investing in each other, carrying out many of those “one another” commands in the New Testament. The Table, as an environment, has differing landscapes depending on what is happening and takes on both formal and informal approaches.
Community Groups (CG)
Community Groups are our weekly gatherings that take place in homes throughout the Fox Valley area. Members join up with a group that fits their geographic location or time availability. CGs take time to pray, study, and fellowship with each other, though the real emphasis in our CGs is that of community. We encourage every member to be plugged into a group and believe that it is a vital need for one’s maturing and growth in grace.
Discipleship Groups (DG)
Discipleship Groups are smaller than our CGs, typically consisting of 2-4 individuals that meet for intentional and intense discipleship. A member goes much deeper and farther in a DG than may be possible in a mixed group CG. Here men or women study, pray, share their joys, struggles, and lives with each other with an emphasis on killing sin and growing in faith. DGs are meant to be the place where honest, real, and raw discussion takes place—a safe environment where one can openly and safely share their struggles and find direction, and where we help one another see blindspots and walk in faith and repentance.
Gender Specific Ministries
Specifically this captures Men’s and Women’s Ministries. Throughout the month there are opportunities to break bread, pray, and study theology with gender specific application. There are also opportunities for retreats and conferences.
Outside the formal gatherings, throughout the week people from Redeemer Fellowship gather together for coffee, meals, and to hang out. You can see members heading to sporting events, date nights, and with their children at the park. Redeemer stresses that fellowship and discipleship does not only happen in “church” events but in the real and raw everyday of life. Couples pray for each other and their children, individuals serve local food pantry ministries together, and get to know friends and neighbors. The best word for the informal landscape of The Table is “hospitality.” We want our people to welcome others into their homes and lives, and to treat outsiders like insiders.
What do I love about Redeemer? The people. This is a church that genuinely loves getting together with each other in all kinds of settings. I’ll give one example. There is an organic gathering that takes place every Sunday night, affectionately called “Third Service,” where people meet up at a local cigar lounge, share a smoke and a drink, and discuss life and doctrine. And laugh. This is a lot of fun. We may talk about the sermon, cultural issues of the day, really, anything goes. You can catch a glimpse of our times together by searching the hashtag #afterhoursfellowship on Instagram.
Want to know the health of your church? See how many are involved in each other’s lives. Christianity is not intended to be an individualistic faith where one detaches from others but is to be lived in community. Sunday morning has its place but there needs to be more through out the week. Not only formally, but informally. We are called to love one another, we cannot love each other if we are not willing to spend time with each other.