Tim Keller to Step Down as Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Tim Keller

Tim Keller will be stepping down as the Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church effective July 1st.  Keller is not retiring, but he wants to expand his role in the training of future leaders for God's kingdom.  The seasoned pastor and best selling author will work full-time teaching in a partner program with Reformed Theological Seminary. He will also work with Redeemer's City to City church planting network.

Keller comments:  "I'm not retiring. Moving into a strategic role of raising up leaders and training the next generation."
"There's a certain level of him that's going to mourn the connection with a congregation and being their pastor," Keller's wife Kathy noted in the report. "It's a loss. But there's also something very exciting that he's going to."

Bethany Jenkins, a church member who directs a faith and work initiative for The Gospel Coalition, first revealed the move in a tweet Sunday.

"Big day for @RedeemerNYC, as @timkellernyc announced he's stepping down as senior pastor as of July 1. Perfect hymn followed," she noted. The fitting hymn that followed was "Lead On, O King Eternal," according to Jenkins.

Each of the three Redeemer churches will remain collegial and still partner together for programs, but will officially be their own congregations with their own leaders and elders (pending a May 20 congregational vote). They also each will plant churches in three more locations-resulting in nine total daughter churches-starting with Redeemer Lincoln Square, which is scheduled to launch on Easter Sunday. 

Keller is the founding and senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.  The church grew from 50 people to a total attendance of over 5,000 people each Sunday as of 2008, leading some to call him "the most successful Christian Evangelist in the city." In 2004 Christianity Today praised Redeemer as "one of Manhattan's most vital congregations."

The church's emphasis on young urban professionals, whom Keller believes exhibit disproportionate influence over the culture and its ideas, has given the church an unusual makeup for a US megachurch. The majority of the congregation is made up of single adults; it is also over forty percent Asian-American, and has many congregants working in the arts and financial services. In his preaching, "he hardly shrinks from difficult Christian truths, [but] he sounds different from many of the shrill evangelical voices in the public sphere."

Redeemer Presbyterian Church has also founded Hope for New York, a non-profit organization that sends volunteers and grants to over 40 faith-based ministries serving social needs in New York City, the Center for Faith and Work to train professionals in Christian theology, and Redeemer City to City to train and fund pastors in New York and other cities.

Keller is a co-founder of The Gospel Coalition, a group of Reformed leaders from around the United States.


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