5 Questions with Pastor Rayden About Red Hill
1.)Why are you planting a church?
The bottom line is this: God called me to plant a church, and I am following His call. I’m passionate about church planting, because I’m passionate about the spread of the gospel. Both church plants and established churches work hard in the area of evangelism, but research demonstrates that church plants are far more effective in their evangelistic work. At Red Hill we are committed to bringing God glory by making disciples in Ed-Glen and the world.
2.)Why are you planting in Edwardsville?
The Metro East is home to roughly 200,000 people, but more than 160,000 of those people do not know Christ. There simply are not enough churches to reach the community we live in and love.
We are longing for a gospel movement, and we are so grateful to be part of what God is already doing in our area.
Edwardsville, Illinois is consistently ranked as one of the best cities in Illinois to raise a young family. From the fairs to the festivals to the movies in the park, our city has a strong identity, and there is something special about the way the city comes to life on the trails and in the downtown shops every spring.
Edwardsville is a strategic city due to its influence in the Metro East and because of the presence of Southern Illinois University’s Edwardsville campus. When the university is in full swing, the population of the city nearly doubles in size. Our desire to make disciples of all nations is, in one sense, fullfilled uniquely, because God has brought the nations to us through SIUE. We believe God has given us a commission to reach the community and to impact the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
3.)Why are your worship gatherings at SIUE?
Beginning June 28th we will gather for worship every Sunday at the MUC building in the heart of SIUE’s campus. Through our close partnership with Cougar Fellowship we have secured meeting space for both our worship gathering and kids’ ministry.
We are worshipping on campus because we want to reach lost people everywhere, and there is a large, concentrated population of lost people on the campus of SIU Edwardsville.
We are not a “college” church. We are not a “young family” church. We are a people church. We have people in college who attend, along with senior adults and young families. We are the body of Christ: diverse but united by a common faith and a common mission.
4.)Why didn’t you just join an existing church?
There are some excellent, gospel preaching churches in the Ed-Glen community and even more across the Metro East. However, if every one of the buildings that house these churches were filled ten times a weekend there would still be a huge need for more gospel centered churches.
Revitalizing existing churches is noble work, but it isn’t our work. God has called us to start something completely new, a unique expression of God’s people, here in the Ed-Glen community.
We believe in and partner with strong, established churches, but we also believe the best method of reaching the lost is the planting of new, gospel centered churches. And we want to help introduce people to the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
5.)Why is Red Hill doing preview services (And what are those, anyway)?
A preview service is a worship gathering intended to give the community a taste of what worshipping with Red Hill will be like. We will have one preview service in June, one in July, three in August, and then we will launch the church (with regular worship gatherings) in September.
The preview services give you (the community) an opportunity to try us out, and they give us the opportunity to work out any snags in our setup and tear down process. We will be loading in and loading out sound equipment, kids ministry equipment, banners, signs, and more every Sunday. And honestly, we could use some practice.
Another huge reason we are doing preview services is this: our launch team is not yet complete.
We need to recruit more people into the mission of launching Red Hill. Our aim is to love every person God sends our way, and we still need some dedicated servant leaders to help us love people well as they gather with us for worship.
If you’re interested in learning more about the launch team and how you can help out, shoot us an email or give us a call. We’d love to take you to eat or to grab a cup of coffee. Together we’ll discover how God has shaped you and whether that fits with the people and needs of Red Hill.