The Sojourn Network which is based out of Louisville, Kentucky allegedly uses Redemption Groups. Created at Mars Hill in Seattle, Mike Wilkerson still pushes these programs inside evangelicalism today. Given the disaster that Mars Hill became and the abuse that existed this blog believes that Sojourn Network using these groups is problematic and dangerous. This is a warning as to why someone should stay away from the Sojourn Network.
“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.“
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:15-16 NIV
Justin Pearson’s Sojourn Fairfax here in Virginia.
How Soma Church Network uses Redemption Groups.
This blog recently obtained some more documents about the Sojourn Network. One of them caused a great amount of concern, as it duplicates a controversial group program from late Mars Hill in Seattle. The program is called Redemption Groups. Up above you can hear a pastor from Soma Tacoma talk about the Redemption Groups and how they work.
The History of Redemption Groups
Redemption Groups were founded in 2011 by Mike Wilkerson. They were modeled after a similar program that took place at Mars Hill Seattle. Mike worked on staff at Mars Hill with Bill Clem and James Noriega. Mike then moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 2014 and brought the concept on Redemption Groups with him. Mike has also published, “Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry” which is used in this program as the primary book. After the problems that took place at Mars Hill, Mike re-worked the groups to root out the issues that existed. And Mike Wilkerson wants you to believe that those problems have been fixed. Today he lives in Seattle and leads the Redemption Hill network.
Redemption Hill groups have the following aspects to them.
- They consist of about 8 people.
- All members of the group attend together and they are usually scheduled for Wednesday nights. It starts out with teaching and breaks out and lasts from 7:00 to 9:30 or so.
- While most groups run on a weeknight some churches have what is called a “weekend intensive” that lasts Friday night and Saturday.
- Redemption Groups are closed once they start.
- They are also gender specific and mixed in their programs. You can deal with everything from domestic abuse, to pornography, to drugs, etc….
- Discussion is to be open and you are to be involved and share.
- Redemption Groups are fixed length and last 10 to 11 weeks.
- Redemption Groups are co-led by Biblical counselors.
The Guidelines for Redemption Groups
Read the guidelines for Redemption Groups below.
What Deeply Troubles this Blog Writer About Redemption Groups
These Redemption Groups are a disaster waiting to happen in the opinion of this blogger. Its privacy statement is deeply warped. The information being shared should only be spoken with a licensed and trained psychologist or mental health individual. When you agree to have information shared with leaders, then what they are doing is collecting information to one day use against you. The group policy of healing is also unrealistic. Let me ask this one question….can a person overcome alcoholism in 10 weeks? Can a drug addict overcome an opioid addition in a 10 week program that meets once a week? If those addictions would be that simple then would they even be a problem?
Also why would you share intimate details with your life with people you barely know? That is really warped and raises issues…do you want strangers in the community to know intimate details about you? Its comments about conflict are also warped. People who lead these groups are not trained to deal with complicated and intricate issues, plus as a “Biblical counselor” they also reject psychology as well. Man, there are so many red flags that come from this program. Listen to the Soma Church pastor talk about healing a person dealing with sexual abuse at 12:29 up above. Can sexual abuse be healed in 10 weeks? Is it really that simple? Make sure someone tells C.J. Mahaney that information, as he would love to use that to clean up sexual abuse inside Sovereign Grace. But seriously does this explain why these organizations are struggling with sexual abuse, they can’t grasp it? Sojourn has its roots in Mars Hill of Seattle, and this toxic program really reveals the harm that still is coming out of the disaster that is known as Mars Hill. If Sojourn is still using these, and my understanding is that a number of churches are, then that raises deep concerns about the health of this organization.