We recently announced that Second Mile is becoming Redemption Church Gateway. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Why is Second Mile joining Redemption Church?
We believe that we’ll accomplish the original vision of Second Mile to embody Jesus and plant stronger churches with greater effectiveness by joining with Redemption Church than by doing it alone. Over the last years of working together in various ways, we’ve experienced strong theological, philosophical, and relational unity that we can leverage to make a bigger impact for Jesus’s kingdom. For other reasons, watch this video.
What will change?
We’ll have greater support and training resources as we plant churches in the southeast valley, and we’ll participate in a state-wide movement of gospel-centered, reformed, missional churches. We will also have cost-effective administrative support that will free up people and money for the sake of mission. In addition, our leaders will be networked with others in similar roles at other campuses, which will provide everyone with opportunities to grow and improve their ministry skills and effectiveness.
Will the Sunday experience change?
The Sunday experience will change very little. It will continue to be planned and overseen by our local elders and ministry teams, as it has always been, and will feel almost identical to what people experience now.
What’s the leadership structure?
Redemption Church is governed by a Leadership Team comprised of Pastors Tyler Johnson, Justin Anderson, Neil Pitchel, Tim Maughan, Tom Shrader, and Luke Simmons. They will serve the church by setting vision and spearheading new ministry opportunities. Each campus also has local elders who lead the mission in their local contexts.
Is there a “corporate office” that is actually in charge?
No. There is a central operations department that handles administrative functions like payroll, accounting, HR, insurance, graphics, and video. There is a movement-wide leadership team providing big-picture leadership and then delegating on-the-ground decision making to the campus elder teams.
Why the name change?
There’s no question about it—we love the name ‘Second Mile’ and all that it represents. At the same time, we are coming together to make a new church. Many church mergers are a result of one church “saving” another church. Redemption Church, however, is the result of healthy, growing churches coming together for the purpose of a shared vision. As such, we are creating something new together, and it is valuable to have the synergy of one unified name. The name ‘Redemption Church’ is also telling about our vision as a people of God—to see everything in life brought under the lordship of Jesus and redeemed.
Will there be diversity between the campuses?
Of course. The ministry needs at each campus vary based on the context of the local community. Some campuses will have ministries and programs that other campuses don’t. All campuses will commit to having an excellent Sunday experience for adults and kids and to having groups be the primary expression of mid-week ministry. Outside of these few commitments, each campus elder team is free to decide what ministries best serve their needs.
How does money work?
Our campus elders will set a local budget and every dollar given at our campus will be earmarked for use through our campus.
What does this mean for the Beyond Campaign?
The Beyond Campaign is still in full effect and all the money given to Beyond will be used for construction and facility costs at the Gateway Campus.
What will happen with students?
Currently the Gateway and Gilbert campuses are the only ones operating a student ministry. Each campus will continue to operate its own ministry to students in its community, but the leaders will begin working together to share ideas and sharpen each other.
How will this change our culture?
Culture has been a big focus of ours from the beginning, and will continue to be an important focus of our leadership. Ultimately, a church’s culture is shaped by the shared attitudes, values, and behaviors of its people and leaders. Since our leaders and people are not changing, we think that our vibrant church culture will continue. Our hope is that as we grow and plant more churches, it will only increase our heart for being gospel-centered and outward-focused.
Has this ever been done before?
Yes and no. We know of many healthy multi-site churches and we know of churches that have joined together. However, most church ‘mergers’ are really more like acquisitions in that one congregation needs bailed out. Thus, we do not know of three existing, healthy churches that have joined together to form a city-wide gospel movement as a multi-site church. If you know of another, please tell us so we can learn from them!
How does this impact my role in the church (as a volunteer or community group member)?
It should give you more opportunities to grow and develop as a disciple and in your ministry. We hope it gives you a growing passion for the gospel to change our city. But, practically speaking, your role in the church continues to be as valuable as it has always been. We have always thrived because of the ownership and service of our people.
What do we lose?
The most obvious thing we lose is our ultimate autonomy. We are now part of bigger movement. Our leadership has embraced this because the Redemption Church vision is so compelling. Additionally, it is worth noting that total autonomy in the local church is a relatively new thing historically. We think it is ironic that we critique rugged individualism in people but most churches express the same we-don’t-need-anyone-else mentality. We think that what we can learn and gain together is more powerful than what we would keep if we stayed alone.