What is Redemptive Lift?

What is Redemptive Lift

by | Jul 10, 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Introduction to Redemptive Lift

At Petros Network, we believe that the most compelling aspect of our mission is what we call “Redemptive Lift.” This concept, coined as early as 2010, is a phrase, to our knowledge, that remains unique to our missiology and describes the transformative power of the gospel on people’s lives. Redemptive Lift has its origins in Donald McGavrans combined use of the concepts of “redemption” and “lift” to describe “the transformative power of the gospel on peoples lives, especially their socioeconomic condition.”[1]

Holistic Transformation through Church Planting

Simply put, since the kingdom of God serves as the best catalyst for holistic transformation, Petros Networks final of their seven missional convictions[2] endeavors to plant churches that become change agents in all aspects of the life of a community. Churches should not only proclaim the gospel in words but also demonstrate it through practical, life-giving deeds that lead to community transformation.  

Manifestations of Redemptive Lift

This transformation manifests in various ways, such as:

  • Improved health and hygiene practices,  
  • Fairer governance,  
  • Women’s empowerment,  
  • Protection of vulnerable children,  
  • Care for widows and orphans,  
  • Sustainable farming,  
  • Healthy families,  
  • Economic growth, and  
  • Environmental stewardship.  

Socioeconomic Impact of Redemptive Lift

When the gospel reaches a village, and believers live out Kingdom principles, becoming authenticating witnesses to their faith before non-believers, all of life will noticeably improve for all the people of the village, believers and non-believers alike. In a broad and farreaching sense, this lift has the potential to reshape economic disparities between rich and poor nations or at least reduce the blight of poverty among the worlds poor 

Addressing Global Poverty through Church Planting

In A Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named, John Piper notes the strong correlation between the unreached and the poor, emphasizing that reaching the unreached often means addressing extreme poverty. Eighty-five percent of the poorest people live in the 10/40 window, a region also home to ninety-five percent of the least-reached people groups. Thus, planting churches in these areas directly addresses global poverty. He concludes, “a call to the unreached peoples is almost the same as a call to the poorest of the poor.”[3] At Petros Network we believe they go hand-in-hand. Jesus did too!

Petros Network’s Impact: The Redemptive Lift Cycle

Petros Network began with a few church planters, equipping and sending them as indigenous missionaries into unreached East African villages to share the gospel. As leaders led with the Redemptive Lift Cycle[4] in mind, their initial testimonies included remarkable stories of miracles, healings, deliverance from demon possession, and even raising from the dead. Over time, their efforts have led to amazing stories of social and economic transformation:  

  • Husbands remain faithful to their spouses, monogamy becomes common,  
  • Reduction in genital mutilation and other harmful cultural practices, 
  • Decline in child abuse and substance abuse,  
  • Growth in businesses 
  • Improved food security 

Community and Government Acknowledgment

With regularity, community leaders and secular government officials acknowledge that a church’s presence improves everything in a community. Churches become agents of change by caring for the people and pointing them to Jesus, promoting peace and prosperity while reducing violence, crime and harmful cultural practices.  

Historical Impact of Church Planters in Revival

As church planters focus on restoring souls, they soon recognize their role in God’s divine plan to renew the world. As they live out their faith and embed in their communities, they begin to notice the imbalance in access to resources that can only be solved with spiritual answers, and they are compelled to act. Joann Butrin says it well, “There is an imbalance in our world, where some have abundant access and others do not have any…. There is a compulsion of the Spirit to address that imbalance” with the gospel and all that it promises.[5] History supports this truth in that missionary church planters have had a profound impact on societal health, promoting religious liberty, education, media, voluntary organizations, and democratic stability throughout the ages. Robert Woodberry writes: 

The work of conversionary Protestants (missionary church planters) was the single largest impact in ensuring the social and economic health of nations, … the crucial catalyst, initiating the development and spread of religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, newspapers, voluntary organizations, and colonial reforms, creating the conditions that stabilized democracy.[6]

Join the Redemptive Lift Movement for Global Transformation

Petros Network is convinced that our indigenous missiology,[7] reflecting our seven missional convictions, participates in a Holy Spirit-led movement. This movement aims to complete the Great Commission, transforming lives spiritually, socially, and economically in ways Christ envisioned. We pray that we can become “the greatest conduit for the completion of the Great Commission the world has ever seen” in every transformative aspect Christ envisioned—spiritual, social, and economic. 

We invite you to learn more about Redemptive Lift and the Redemptive Lift Cycle by visiting Petros Network at petrosnetwork.org. 



[1] Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1990), 213.  

[2] Petros Network’s Seven Missional Convictions: 1. Church Planting, 2. Unreached People, 3. Intentional Indigeneity, 4. Kingdom Cooperation, 5. Rapid Sustainability, 6. Organic Reproduction, and 7. Redemptive Lift.

[3] John Piper, A Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2019), 145.

[4] Petros Network’s Redemptive Lift Cycle describes the process of transforming lives and communities through holistic, Gospel-center initiatives. The Cycle involves several key stages and emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach that integrates spiritual, social, and economic dimensions to achieve sustainable and lasting change. 

[5] JoAnn Butrin, “Holistic Missions in Word, Deed, and Spirit,” in Mission, Vision, and Core Values: RPTS Missiology Series, ed. John L. Easter, et al. (Springfield, MO: Assemblies of God World Missions, 2016), 107-108.

[6] Robert D. Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” American Political Science Review 106, no. 2 (May 2012): 244.

[7] Petros Network’s indigenous missiology simply means partnering with national churches to send indigenous missionaries from their ranks to reach people in their native context.

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