Wow! I can’t believe I never saw it coming. What a wonderful surprise to celebrate both my own fortieth birthday and Restoration’s birthday this past Sunday. You all are pretty sneaky! I really had no idea that Sunday was going to be anything more than our annual church celebration.
And what a celebration it was! Seeing people from all different aspects and years of my life and ministry was a HUGE surprise. It brought me so much joy to get to share my birthday with all of you because you have played a role in shaping the person I am today. I was even more overjoyed to have an opportunity to worship with loved ones from all parts of my life. I really have continued to think about Sunday all week and thank God for the chance to share my heart and vision for Restoration.
Something I have realized is that I could not be any more passionate about the way God is shaping Restoration to be a place not only where God is restoring brokenness but where He is also restoring ALL. On Instagram our handle is “restoringall” and I spoke this Sunday about how Restoration Church is place where people can belong. I truly believe that means we, as a church, need to continue to be challenged to invite people around us into our homes, to sit at our tables, and to be a part of our lives.
We aren’t asking folks at Restoration to come and follow a set of rules about how to behave or not behave but to participate in our mission to “join God in the restoration of all things” through the love of Christ. We are compelled by His love to be honest with ourselves each week and come as we are being vulnerable with one another. Don’t just join us for Sunday worship but be an agent of hope and love everywhere you go. Reach out to people in your neighborhood and at work. Invite teammates, friends, and classmates into your lives. Look for ways to be intentional in caring about others around you.
If you weren’t able to join us on Sunday, here is a quick recap of the end of my message that puts into words my hope and vision for Restoration Church in the next years:
Do you know what I love about this church–it is church that cares and loves on everyone who comes through those doors. It is also a church that cares and loves the people outside just as much as the people inside. I truly believe we are living into what Paul had written in 1 Corinthians 9 when he said, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”
- We will support missionaries and do our part to help those who are refugees here and displaced in a far off land.
- We will help those in need and love the broken.
- We will invite broken people like you and me into our homes and to our tables and treat them like royalty.
- We will live out Christ’s love.
- We will not be consumed by worldly success but we celebrate how God’s definition of success for Restoration.
- We will walk by faith…not by sight
- We will practice being humble by serving and loving others.
- We will study scripture not to consume but to share.
- We will be real!
Join us this coming Sunday as we continue to explore how God can use you in this mission!