Redeemer Presbyterian Church | Tulsa, OK
- Ricky Jones
- Dec 1, 2010
- Series: Church Profiles
- Categories: Church Planting Articles, Latest News
Briefly describe your story of your call to plant a church
After 11 years of campus ministry, God called me to plant a church that people would love. I attended a church that had all the elements of a Church, but for many, worshiping there felt like a drudgery. God convicted me of my bitter spirit, and challenged me with the idea: if you think you can do it better then do it. Give people a church where they will love coming to worship."
How did you build up your core? What advice would you give to guys in the core-stage?
I laid out before our core group the belief that the Gospel brings rest and restoration instead of Church busyness. As I continually challenged my core group to believe the gospel and receive God's grace.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in planting your church (and/or currently facing)?
We have had several prominent men in our church sin grievously and leave the fellowship. While each case was very discouraging, Christ has been gracious to bring healing and make our church stronger through these sins.
How did you become involved with Acts 29? What have been the biggest benefits of being in the network?
I began talking with Beau Berman about working with me. He was a member of the network, and convinced me that our church would be encouraged by it. The biggest benefit so far has been the challenging difference of perspective by those who are seeking to bless God's church.
What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant?
Learn to pray, make sure your wife is firmly on board, and seek the confirmation of those who love you enough to tell you your weaknesses.
How do you pastor your family?
I pray with them at night when I put them to bed, and in the morning when I drive them to school. I read them the bible and other books that demonstrate or illustrate the gospel. I encourage them to love each other, and discipline my children.
My wife and I pray with and for each other, and our children. She provides the stability and softness to our family. I provide the margins: the fun and the discipline falls to me.
Outside of the Bible, what is the most helpful book you have read for church planting?
The Heart of a Servant Leader, C. John Miller
Mission, Vision, Values of Church
Redeemer Presbyterian exists to reach people for Christ and to equip them to serve in His Church and Kingdom.
What is your philosophy of community in your church and what does that look like practically in your church? Of evangelism?
I believe people are healed by and in community. In community we see ourselves and our sin, we see how our sin affects others, and we receive the encouragement that we can be better. I teach people to welcome and love people in their community through three steps:
1) Be happy to see each other -- everyone is just as insecure as you are. Be happy to see someone, and they will be happy to see you.
2) Encourage God's image in people, find things that are positive, and help people develop those attributes. Most of us feel beaten up continually by the world. Remind people of the Hope of the Gospel renewing us in the image of God.
3) Discourage people's sin, lovingly call them to repentance.
Evangelism is basically the same thing as fellowship. When I talk to a believer, I listen to them, encourage them in Christ, and call them to repentance. When I speak to an unbeliever I listen to them, encourage them where I see the image of God peeking out, and call them to faith and repentance.
The only difference between an unbeliever and me is, the unbeliever needs to repent and believe on Christ for the first time today, and I need to do it for the 10,000th time today.
What are some examples of God's grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?
The Lord has made me aware of how blessed I am to have my wife. For years I thought she did not respect me as much as I deserved. Through a counselor who was wise enough to laugh at me, I realized I am the lucky one.
How can we pray for you?
Pray that God would convert unbelievers through our church, bring us faithful leaders, protect us from Satan, and provide for our financial needs.
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