Since its founding in 2000, New York City-based Redeemer Presbyterian Church has helped plant over 150 churches in 35 cities around the world. This network has now been renamed Redeemer city to city, and is overseen by Pastor Tim Keller. 2 of these new churches are in Rome, Italy, the newer of the two being Chiesa Evangelica Breccia di Roma, led by my friend Leonardo De Chirico.
In 1989 Tim Keller moved to New York City with his wife and three young sons to plant a new church there. At the time, evangelical Christians made up only 0.5% of the population of Manhattan. However, the Kellers found an unexpected spiritual hunger among New Yorkers, and contrary to all expectations, the church grew explosively from its very first weeks. From 1989 to 1992 it roughly doubled in size each year. Redeemer then began to plant churches in and around the New York City metropolitan area.
Early in 1998, Redeemer initiated the development of a multi-site model and the Redeemer Church Planting Center. The multi-site model is formed around the idea of setting up worship services in different locations for what will eventually become separate church congregations. Today, 5 Sunday services are held in three different locations in central Manhattan, with over 5,000 attendees. Soon another congregation will be launched south of 59th Street. The goal of this decentralization is to eventually multiply into smaller, more community-based congregations that serve the local neighbourhood.