On June 25, Tim Keller will deliver his last sermon as senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. 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.
After nearly 30 years, Redeemer voted in May to split into three distinct churches. Few churches in our day have exerted so much global influence, though Redeemer's primary focus has always been on its immediate Manhattan context.
TGC senior writer Collin Hansen writes: "We give thanks to God and do not take for granted his work in and through Redeemer during the last three decades. Certainly TGC wouldn't exist without the leadership of Keller and this flagship church. And we rejoice now to think about how Redeemer's example may inspire a new generation of church planters around the world to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in grace and truth."
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."
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.