We Plant Churches: Redemption City
Vintage is committed to be a church that plants churches. We talk about why that is in our past few blog posts (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). We believe a church planter residency is the best possible way to prepare pastors to plant and lead a growing church. The church planter residency is a finishing school for qualified and gifted pastors that have either recently planted or will soon plant a church. We partner with the Leaders Collective—led by Pastor Elliot Grudem—for our residency program.
Bliss Spillar participated in the Leaders Collective as a 2015 resident and is the lead pastor and elder of Redemption City Church in Frederick, Maryland. Shelby, his wife of three years, was instrumental in affirming his gifts as a church planter through their dating relationship and early years of marriage. With mentor relationships and his work at Portico Church as the Director of Training/Church Planting, the Spillars’ next step in planting a church became more clear.Photo © Marcy May Photography
As they started to pray about where they should plant a church, Frederick seemed to be the right place. Frederick has a lot of families and a city center, which was important to the Spillars in being able to reach people and engage the city. It also seemed to be the perfect blend of Bliss and Shelby’s backgrounds—he grew up near a big city and Shelby grew up in a small town.
As plans to plant a church became more concrete, participating in the Leaders Collective residency program was imperative. Described as a finishing school for church planters, the residency provides new pastors with time and resources to test their skills in an incubator-like environment. They spend several months developing and honing leadership skills and also get a crash course in operations (thinking through organizational structure, creating an operating budget, and other tangibles). After completing the residency program and moving their family of three to Frederick, the next step was to welcome folks from the community.
Frederick is home to many churches, but there are still many people who are hungry for gospel teaching and life in community. Of the 35 people that attended Redemption City’s launch Sunday on January 11, only three of the the families were people that the Spillars knew before moving to Frederick.
Now a few Sundays later, attendance is steady and new visitors have been trickling in each week. The very first community group is starting up this week.
When we asked Bliss how we could help Redemption City through prayer, three things immediately came to his mind:
Pray for salvation. The Spillars hope that people won’t just join Redemption City by moving from other churches in the area, but that people who aren’t yet in a gospel-centered community would make a home at Redemption City and would accept Jesus.
Prayer for leadership. Redemption City is working with a family who hopes to move to Frederick to be part of the church plant. The family is in the process of raising support and preparing for the transition. Please pray for their family and continued development of leaders at Redemption City.
Prayer for reaching all people. A lot of people in Frederick have been exposed to church at some point or have heard the gospel, and many have had negative experiences with church in the past. Redemption City hopes to reach people in all walks of life and offer an opportunity for healing and reconciliation through the gospel.
As Redemption City continues to grow, we look forward to seeing how God will provide and how he will use this church to advance the gospel in Frederick. We’ll keep you posted on the happenings of the Spillars and Redemption City as they welcome the folks of Frederick and continue to share the good news of the gospel.
To learn more about what’s happening at Redemption City or to get involved, visit their website.