I'm a veteran and use the local veteran's hospital for my medical care. I also served as a chaplain resident at the same hospital, because the veteran's hospital in my area is a teaching hospital. That means I was a resident chaplain working under an actual chaplain assigned to train me and others to be chaplains. A group of us followed the chaplain on his rounds and observed him. He asked us questions and assigned us patients. We worked and learned and trained under his care. The same is true for the medical students and nurses in training.
As a patient at the veteran's hospital, I have a choice. I can be frustrated when I'm served by residents (a.k.a. doctors-in-training) or I can understand that these doctors will be helping people in the future. Some future doctors will help future veterans. Am I concerned about the medical care of future veterans? I should be, because past veterans cared about me when I was a future veteran. The doctors who help me were once students. Therefore, my willingness to receive treatment at a teaching hospital today is really an investment in the future.
Local churches and those who are a part of local churches have the same choices before them. Do you want the very best pastors and ministers today, for yourself only, or are you willing to be a part of a 'teaching church' that allows 'resident' ministers in training to serve and lead in various areas? Are we okay if the lead pastor lets pastors-in-training preach, even when he's there? Can we show kindness to worship leaders in training? Or do we need to put out a call and have only the best in our churches? Do we take part in training up future ministers or do we selfishly enjoy the labors of the other 'teaching churches'?
At Redeeming Life Church, we think like a teaching hospital. We're always looking for ways to train up and equip the next generation of pastors, church planters, missionaries, and ministers. Our resources are very limited and it's not as if we're skilled like the arsenal of professors at seminary, but we're doing what we can. And I believe our efforts for the Kingdom are paying off.
Brett Ricley came to us as a campus-ministry missionary. He was exploring a call to larger outreach directed at the entire city. Not only was Redeeming Life a place for him to explore and grow into this greater calling, he helped build us up and he serves as my right-hand-man at the church. Now, he's training up many others, including seminary students and other missionaries. He's also still growing and learning as we launch him into a greater capacity as our Pastor of Mobilization, tasked to find more effective ways to reach our city, train more disciples, and plant more churches.
Brett is not the only one learning and growing. Doug Meyers will be leaving us in the coming months to plant a cowboy church in Anderson, California. Josiah Walker started as an intern in our children's ministry and is coming on as our Minister of Students (which includes nursery through college student ministries). Derek Earl is now serving as our Minister in Residence, meaning he is learning every aspect to be a pastor or church planter. He'll be going through the NAMB assessment in August and will begin raising his own support. We're raising up worship leaders, including one who is going through Worship Catalyst. Arin Harrison is coming from Georgia to serve as our Women's Ministry Intern for 6 months. We've had other interns in the past and expect to have many more in the future. NAMB utilizes Redeeming Life to help develop other church planters, boots-on-the-ground. We've trained up a couple saints to live on mission and now they're serving the Lord in Japan. Our previous worship leader serves on a bigger team at a larger church. Our deacons are learning servant leadership while they serve locally with our faith family. We've seen people get saved, grow, and move elsewhere to serve on mission wherever they go. Many members are leading Bible studies and one-on-one discipleship. Others step into the pulpit to develop better preaching skills. And the list goes on and on. We take groups to conferences and training opportunities and we host conferences and training at our church building too.
Numerically, our church plant is small. But this does not mean we can't make a big impact for God and his Kingdom.
We care about our community today, but we are also making an investment in the future. How? This is largely in part because the amazing Christians who worship with us understand that we are like a teaching hospital. They know that Sunday morning isn't going to be the biggest and best show, but they are not thinking only about themselves and what serves them best. They could go elsewhere, but they serve our mission by simply being a part and doing so with a great attitude. Our church members drive further to participate. Our location is in an inexpensive area among warehouses. Our building isn't the nicest or the biggest, but that's the sacrifice we're making for a future Kingdom impact. Almost everybody serves in children's ministry and hospitality. Prayer and grace are offered as newer preachers take the pulpit, developing leaders direct worship, and pastors-in-training learn and grow. These saints truly are amazing! We couldn't do it without them.
Are you interested in making an Kingdom investment? You can.
If you live in the area, come join us. Set aside your preferences and desires for the biggest and best. You can serve by joining us on Sunday. It's an easy start and it's more valuable than you know.
If you are not in the area, you can still greatly help up. Being small and giving away so much, we could really use your financial help. Please prayerfully consider supporting one of these future leaders or our development training in general.
You can give on-line here. (Support missionaries like Brett with the Missionary Support Fund. Support Doug's church planting efforts with the California Church Plant Fund. Arin is supported by our Intern Stipend Fund. Our Minister in Residence Fund helps us develop future pastors like Derek. And our Pastoral Development Fund helps us purchase books and resources, send people to training, and make it possible to develop ministers for multiplication and future service.
Thanks for joining us in this mission to see Utah redeemed by the power of the gospel! If you are with us, thank you. If you are financially helping us, thanks so much! We couldn't do this without you.
For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan Catherman