I fell asleep a lot at Redeemer, in the early days (I was 7). But the one thing that I heard over and over (even in my subconscious) was that when I understood the gospel, I would realize that I’m worse than I thought and yet more loved than I thought. That truth has hit home so many times in my life but most vividly as a teenager when I was realizing my brokenness. I remember that phrase finally making sense to me and being good news. I was finally free to live without fear and without guilt.
...when I understood the gospel, I would realize that I'm worse than I thought and yet more loved than I thought.
I love how Redeemer seeks to make New York a great city – what a healthy and yet challenging vision. Growing up, I heard such a positive view toward the city and its people that it helped me to love people around me, even when it was hard and even when they weren’t like me. This city-positive teaching toward the city has really helped me in my life and ministry with Hope for L.A. (sound familiar?).
Lastly, I need to give a shout-out to the most impactful people in my life growing up at Redeemer – the volunteer youth group leaders. The sacrifices you made to love us kids and model what walking with Jesus looks like as an adult spoke volumes. Besides the weekly youth group gatherings, you had us over to your apartments for pizza, you showed up at sporting events and life celebrations, and you took us on life-changing journeys (like mission trips to Baltimore, Peru and the Philippines).