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HELP…I need a 3rd ‘R’ – can you think of one?

23 July 2012

As a church planter you are always thinking about (a) what you want your church to be shaped by (values), (b) what positive impact you pray your church will have in individuals lives, communities and culture in general (vision) and (c) how you can effectively and efficiently express both your vision and your values to others who might be interested.

One of the ways Leanne and I want to do this was thinking about how our church is defined by the past, present and future and we’ve nearly got something but we need a 3rd R and I wonder if you could help me – please do make any suggestions. Here is what we have so far…

3 R’s (or 2 R’s & an H)

As we a new Christian Community in Dublin we want to be (1) Rooted, (2) Relevant and …(3) (R?) hopeful


As a community we want to be rooted in God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We want all of our identity and value to come from being formed in his image that we might become a community of light in Dublin.

As a community we want to be rooted in the historical events of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and all that he accomplished on our behalf bringing us into right relationship with God our Father and with one another.

As a community we also want to be rooted in the great historical roots of Celtic Christianity that have shaped the great city of Dublin and the nation of Ireland. A Christianity that was based on the bible, empowered by the Holy Spirit and welcoming of every person no matter their background or race.


Not only do we want to be rooted in God and in the historical events of Christ and the church in Ireland, we also want to be relevant for today, bringing the power of the unchanging gospel of Jesus to a changing world. We want to become disciples of Jesus that engage with the excitements, perplexities and challenges of 21st century culture. We want to build a community where ‘we’re on a mission together’ in seeking the peace and prosperity of Dublin – caring for the poor, seeking justice for the down-trodden, impacting the world of politics, economics, sport, media, education, music and the arts and most importantly bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit seek to share the love and joy of their community life to a needy world so we want to do the same in Dublin and beyond. Just as the Celtic Church brought the light of Christ into the darkness all those years ago, we want to do the same today.

(3) (R?) HOPEFUL

Not only do we want to be root and relevant we want to be (R?) hopeful – we want our community to be living in light of the great hope we have in Christ. We believe that one day the cities of this earth will all fade away and the eternal city of God will take it’s place and all the darkness of this world will be cast out by the light of Christ. We believe that God will one day renew the whole earth and his glory will perfectly fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. And we believe this hope has started to invade the present and that God wants his people to join him in the renewal of all things. Living in light of the great hope that we have means that we persevere when it is tough and we do all we can to bring that hope into people’s lives now.

So what (a) what do you think (honestly?) and (b) can anyone think of a 3rd “R”?

Whether we get the nice 3 Rs is actually less important than our actual desire that the past, present and future all shape us as a church.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 July 2012 4:59 pm


  2. Jess Keenan permalink
    23 July 2012 6:12 pm

    Steve, this is brilliant. I am so excited for all that God is going to do through you and Leanne and your new church in Dublin. These are values and vision that all churches should have (well maybe not all churches should seek to be rooted in Irish history…)
    Radiant, renewal, redeemed, rejoicing and restoration are all words beginning with R but I don’t think any of them really capture your ‘hopeful’. Maybe it should just be ‘Really hopeful’…

  3. 23 July 2012 11:55 pm

    Great thoughts. When I read your post I thought of renewal, the world will one day be renewed, you’re part of that renewal as christ is renewing you through his Spirit.
    Blessings on your mission.

  4. 24 July 2012 11:15 am

    @ Matt, Jess and Ted, Thanks for all the suggestions. I like re-imagine and renewal a lot – will ponder on those.

    However my favourite R came came in a tweet which said “Rambo, Radical, Real, Re-born, re-start, re-new, respectful, Ready, Redeem, rightful”

    We want to be a church that is
    – Rooted in the past
    – Relevant in the present
    – Rambo in the future

    I love that

  5. Andrew permalink
    1 September 2012 7:43 pm

    Run, Runners, Run ahead… I know how you like sports metaphors. (anticipating God’s future reality in the present)

    Respond… Sounds Christian.

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