Here are ten reasons I'm thankful to God for the people of Redemption Church of Northridge.

  1. They are humble- they don't pretend they've arrived or figured everything out.  I see an readiness to keep learning and to walk forward together in living out the gospel. This is displayed brilliantly as they confess sin with each other, share struggles and ask each other for help.
  2. They serve- every week I watch people step forward and serve in various ways.  In children's ministry, with our lunches, hosting and leading Community Groups, on the music team, etc.  Last night someone pointed out to me that even the kids are jumping in and helping to set up for lunch every week. And all this only covers Sunday morning- which doesn't touch the countless ways people serve each other during the week.
  3. They are amazed at the gospel- the fact that Jesus loved them and gave up his life for them doesn't get old.  They love singing about it, hearing about it and talking about it.  They want to go deeper into the gospel and figure out what it means for all of life.
  4. The love people- from my observations every single person that walks in our door is welcomed and loved regardless of their background.  I see people go out of their way to show genuine interest in other people's lives and to seek to include them in the life of the body.
  5. They're great listeners- I'm always amazed at how attentive everyone is to the preaching.  They're willing to work hard at listening and are eager to have their hearts molded by God's word.
  6. They are in awe of God- this is expressed in a myriad of ways but the one that sticks out to me is the singing.  When our people come together and sing there is no doubt in my mind that it is an expression of deep and passionate praise for the living God.
  7. They love non-Christians- I see an increasing love for non-Christians as I listen to people talk about and pray for their non-Christian friends.  I hear about ways people are reaching out to neighbors and co-workers.  They love them and long for them to embrace Christ.
  8. They enjoy being together- from the time people start arriving on Sunday morning until the last stragglers reluctantly leave the building its evident that our church family loves being together.  And it goes beyond Sunday mornings- its seen in Community Groups, in play dates at the park, lunch meetups, basketball games and shared meals.
  9. They are generous- their love for the church and for others is seen in the way they give.  They give faithfully to support the ministry of the church and enable me to give my full time to ministry.  When needs have arisen in the body they are eager to give towards them.  When mission trips need support they step up and give.  I have no doubt that on a percentage level our small body out-gives the vast majority of churches.
  10. They love children- they love seeing new babies born, throwing baby showers and providing meals for the families of newborns.  They patiently welcome and find joy in having the kids with us for the singing, in sitting next to them at lunch and in watching them run around playing together afterwards.