by Steve Shackelford
I’ve now been at Redeemer City to City (CTC) for eight months. Many of you know my story, coming from 30 years in the business world to lead the day-to-day operations of CTC. I’m often asked how the adjustment is from the for-profit world to a ministry. That’s an easy one - I am so glad to be here. I knew CTC brought a unique and distinctive value, skill, thought leadership and theological soundness in the content, training and resources for current and prospective church planters. However, I underestimated the depth, breadth and generosity of those attributes. CTC’s foundation is strong, and that gives me great confidence as we plan for the future.
The Lord has been showing me in very tangible ways how, for the last 30 years, he led and prepared me for this position. These first eight months have been confirming and affirming, and I’m humbled and privileged to serve this ministry.
This summer, Tim Keller transitioned out of the pulpit of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and is full-time with us at CTC. He is fully engaged and is spending a significant amount of time in City Ministry Year, a certificate program that equips New York City leaders for urban ministry. In addition, he provides me great wisdom as we chart out the future of CTC.
A lot is happening in our offices, and, as I write this, 24 church planters and trainers from around the world are going through our International Intensive training program and diving deep into how the gospel impacts every aspect of ministry—of life—of everything. I wish you could experience the teaching of John Thomas or Mark Reynolds, listen in when Tim teaches on evangelism and apologetics or hear one of the guest lecturers like Sam Alberry from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries or David Kim from the Center for Faith & Work.
I just got back from meeting with church planters and network leaders in London and global church planting leaders in Amsterdam. I can’t adequately put into words the enthusiasm I feel for what the Lord is doing through these leaders. I’m humbled by what these leaders are undertaking and privileged to serve alongside them. In November, I will be visiting four cities in Asia and am looking forward to seeing how the gospel is advancing through the churches in those regions of the world.
As we turn the corner into next year, may I ask you to pray for the ministry? I came from a world where there were hours and hours of discussion on strategies and tactics, goals and metrics. Rest assured that we are having all of those discussions at CTC, but I am convinced that without prayer none of that will matter. I am praying the Lord raises up thousands of people who will pray for urban areas, thousands of leaders who will plant churches in global cities and thousands of gospel partners who will help fuel the work that needs to be done.
Finally, please pray that we would have wisdom, and if God prompts your heart to assist us financially in this fourth quarter of the year, which is always a pivotal time, we would be most grateful. We are thankful for you and your partnership with CTC. Feel free to reach out to me and let us know how we can be praying for you.
In the peace of our Lord,