Launching a New Mission
Redemption Gate West
Redemption Gate Goes Bi-Coastal
Redemption Gate Mission Society to launch a new mission in Riverside, California
Anne and I spent February in Riverside, California, laying the groundwork for an inner-city mission on the model of Springfield, where our non-denominational Holy Grounds Coffee House has become a place of service for community missionaries from many different churches, and a place of transformation for the homeless, the discouraged and the disadvantaged. www.redemptiongate.org
Our seven year campaign to re-Christianize Springfield will end in September with a Jubilee celebration. Between now and then we will hold our annual Apologetics Seminar (March 21) and our 7th annual March for Jesus (April 4), and a grand-finale Jubilee event (TBA) in September.
The work in Springfield will continue into the next seven year term under the leadership of Pastor CS "Steve" Cooley and our team of dedicated volunteers. Anne and I will continue to be part of that team, and I will remain Senior Pastor of the Coffee House Church. We will keep our home base in Springfield, but we will be spending a large portion of our time in Riverside, establishing Redemption Gate West.
Riverside is the seat of government for Riverside County and its courthouse is the center of the city and our Redemption Gate West ministry focal-point. There are many needs in the inner-city, just as there are in Springfield, but the Lord has put the courthouse on my heart and the hundreds of people who pass through its doors daily -- especially those whose path leads them through the criminal justice system.
We will seek to minister not just to defendants, but to attorneys, court officials and perhaps even judges -- raising the standard of Christ in one of the darkest, most atheistic corners of our society. As a Christian attorney and pastor I am specially suited to this task, but we will build a team of community missionaries to carry on this work even when I am not on site.
We will start a daily morning Bible study within easy walking distance of the courthouse and invite court-bound people to come to us for prayer before or after their court appearance. Of course, the Bible-study will be open to all, and we will work to recreate that transformative Holy Grounds Coffee House setting and format that has been such a huge blessing to people in Springfield. We will seek donations from local stores to provide free coffee and baked goods, just like in Springfield.
Riverside County has many Christian churches which will recognize the value of this new ministry, and appreciate our "unity on the essentials" approach to ministry. We will follow the same seven-year format in which we promote seven consecutive annual themes, and provide free bumper-stickers, buttons and yard signs to all who will agree to display them: TRUST JESUS, PRAY DAILY, READ YOUR BIBLE, GO TO CHURCH, SEEK UNITY IN CHRIST, LOVE GOODNESS, SHARE YOUR FAITH.
For example October, 2015 to September, 2016 will be the year to promote the theme TRUST JESUS. After seven years it's nearly impossible to drive through Springfield without seeing our bumper-stickers on numerous cars.
We have seen in Springfield that these simple Biblical exhortations have a unifying and encouraging effect on the believers who live in the area, believers who are in turn prompted to be more faithful in their personal walk, and more active in sharing the Gospel. There is a ripple effect of blessing through the entire region.
The Redemption Gate mission also provides a gateway into the life of evangelism and good works outside the walls of the church that the Lord wants us all to lead. Believers become Community Missionaries naturally as an aspect of their fellowship in the Coffee House ministry center -- while remaining loyal to their own home church. More than two dozen churches are represented in the network that serves the Springfield mission.
Redemption Gate West will launch in October of this year in some humble form. Anne and I will be working in Springfield for most of the time leading up to this, but will make a few trips to Riverside to meet with pastors and other Christian and community leaders and activists in the foundation-building process. We will spend the winter months of 2015/16 working to put a structure onto the foundation.
We have learned over the years to hold our plans lightly (even when given by His inspiration) and just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Where humans tend to create institutions, He works through "seasons," matching people, circumstances, and resources to serve His purposes in His perfect timing. The more we flow with His plan, the better the result. I look forward to watching Him work as this vision unfolds.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If you know of people in Riverside County who should be on this mailing list, please have them send me an email.
To help cover the expenses related to this new project or to support the ongoing work of Redemption Gate Mission Society in Springfield, MA, please donate here: http://www.redemptiongate.org/donate.html
Dr. Scott Lively