Chapel Speaker to Preach Bible’s ‘Uncompromising Truth’
By Doug Carroll
He’s originally from Boring, Ore. — yes, that’s an actual place — but don’t let it give you the wrong impression of Justin Anderson.
Anderson’s life as a pastor has been anything but dull. He once started a church with 10 people in the living room of a house, and over the past six and a half years his church has met in 13 different locations.
Recently, things have settled down a bit. In the summer of 2010, his Praxis Church merged with East Valley Bible Church, creating Redemption Church, a megachurch with campuses in Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa and east Phoenix.
The Tempe campus, where Anderson can be found, is Redemption’s hub, with an average weekly attendance of 1,000, many of them in their mid-20s.
Anderson, a graduate of Corona del Sol High School in Tempe who played baseball at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, is Redemption’s lead pastor of preaching and vision. He’s a straight shooter who will bring a message on prayer to Monday’s Chapel in GCU Arena.The Gospel needs no kid-gloves treatment, he says.
“Uncompromising truth changes people,” Anderson says. “At Redemption, I guess we’re just Christians who believe the Bible is true. We don’t do crazy stuff. I like to open the Bible and teach it.”
Planting churches, though demonstrated to be an effective way of reaching non-Christians, is more challenging than it looks — and it isn’t for everyone. Anderson says that 80 percent of church plants fail in their first three years.
“It’s hard and slow, and people underestimate how hard it is,” he says. “You’re creating something out of nothing, and there are a million pitfalls. Creating a new community of believers in an increasingly secularized environment takes a toll.”
However, it can be even more difficult to revive an older church, he says, comparing that process to “turning around a bus in a cul-de-sac.” In the end, he says, it’s about making disciples in the most effective way possible.
“The Gospel matters, and it matters more than anything else,” Anderson says. “That’s a theme of my preaching.”
Chapel starts at 10:45 a.m. with music by the Chapel band, led by Campus Music Minister Gabe Salazar.
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.