We exist to disciple Christians
This group exists to disciple Christians. We are under the authority of a local church body, Redemption Church, whose mission is, “We exist to make authentic disciples who live for the glory of God and the good of our world.” And whose vision is to, “help every day people wake up to deep meaningful life in Christ.” The pastors and elders of Redemption Church govern our group we and do not exist apart from this leadership structure. We are united in the study of God’s revealed Word. We will facilitate conversations to point each other to Christ, deepen our understanding of God’s preached word on Sunday (Lord’s Day) worship, and the careful examination of the key passages each week. Our prayer is that this group “may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9-10).
There are a couple ideas to guard against that would take the group off purpose. One is confusing the study group for the church itself. There is a danger that members could come to think of the others in the group and the spiritual discussions as a replacement for attending the regular gathering of God’s people to worship each Sunday (Lord’s Day). Yet it is only in the gathered worship of the church that we hear the preaching of God’s Word, partake in the sacraments of Lord’s Supper and Baptism, and see the exercise of church discipline. These three things are what define a church and are outside the bounds of this small group. Therefore, this small group is best described as an assembly of engaged Christians who frequent worship and wish to grow in the knowledge of God.
Social clubs unite for a variety of reasons and are therefore bound together by those affinities. It is natural for a group of people united around a common purpose to enjoy being together. This group is bound together by the Word of God. Fellowship is a major part of this group, but does not distract from the study of God’s Word. Yet, there will likely be times where we will pause and spend extended time in prayer for steadfastness in the face of a difficult providence of God or for wisdom in important situations.
The members of this group will have a range of interests. Though different, we respect that it is the Word of God binding us together. Therefore each member of the group is to be viewed without partiality (James 2:1-9).
This group is for the members and attendees of Redemption Church, though we recognize that there are some instances where this may not be the case. If you are exploring Christianity or do not yet have a church home, you are welcome and encouraged to join us for Sunday (Lord’s Day) worship. This group is for you, yet more than that the church is for you. Our group welcomes men and women, couples and singles, with children, without children, or empty nesters. It is for the old and the young, the new Christian, the not yet Christian, and the Christian who has walked with God for many years. “The grasp of the King of the kingdom of heaven can reach even you and even now” (O’Donnell, 2014).
The beliefs of the members and attendees of Redemption Church vary widely, yet we are united with all Christians in affirming the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Redemption also holds to several doctrines about God, Scripture, humanity, sin, salvation, and eternity. These doctrinal rails will help guide our discussion, yet there is much room there to disagree which may happen from time to time. Come ready to wrestle with ideas and concepts in the week’s test and bring your questions about sections that may be confusing or difficult to grasp. These are times to explore these doctrines further, to seek prayer, and to think deeply about God’s Word—turning to the Scriptures as the supreme judge in these matters.
Each week, our group will meet at the Baker’s home at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. We plan to review the questions the church provides with each sermon. The questions will be sent each week on GroupMe and via the church’s Friday email. The group will leverage these questions as a launching point for deeper study. Something you may find beneficial is to jot down questions you have during the sermon or while reading the Scripture. Bring these lingering questions about the sermon or passage to the small group—we’d love to discuss them. You’re welcome to use any Christian translation of the Bible. Redemption’s primary translation is the English Standard Version (ESV). If you use your phone or digital device, a free Bible is online at www.relight.app. This has both the ESV and King James Version (KJV) translations available in the options. You also are encouraged to use additional study helps as you read. Many excellent sources are available at Relight, just tap the lightbulb next to the verse. Our goal each week is the careful study of the Word as the only infallible rule of interpretation.
Together, we will “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18, ESV)
Should you have any questions, please contact Grant Baker at grantebaker <at> gmail (dot) com or Chace Ifland at Chace.Ifland <at> redemptionokc (dot) com