Joining God in the restoration of all things is our mission at Restoration. And for all of us who keep our eyes open, looking for the Kingdom of God, you will know that the Kingdom is not only in the future but already happening in the present (Mk. 1). Since the Kingdom of God is present now, God is already shaping our lives and our community, inviting us to join him in this work. Summer for Restoration has also been City Season where we’ve focused our attention on joining God in the restoration of our city—all the places outside our walls to which he has called us, from Dallas to Belize to Germany.
I can hardly believe all that has happened this City Season! If you are like me, you were probably on vacation for part of it so let me share everything Restoration has done.
- We commissioned five teams or individuals to go out and work in the mission field.
- We’ve partnered in local missions with Network Ministries to serve our own neighbors by working in Network’s food pantry and school supply drive.
- We sent a family of four to live and work with refugees in Germany for the next year. (Please, keep them in your prayers!)
- A Restoration team returned to Belize to work in San Mateo, a deeply impoverished town in Belize, ministering to the community around Holy Cross Anglican School.
- A Restoration member followed the path of refugees fleeing Syria, starting with Restoration-sponsored missionaries in Jordan, continuing through Italy and Greece, and ending in with Restoration missionaries in Germany.
- Another Restoration member spent three weeks in China using business training to equip people and open doors.
- Earlier, we sponsored a Refugee Awareness luncheon, partnering with other organizations to inform and inspire people to respond to the global refugee crisis.
- We’ve continued to support a family of Syrian refugees that we adopted last year in partnership with Gateway of Grace.
- And we expanded to adopt a second Syrian family of eight, spending of dozens of volunteer hours in the last few weeks to prepare them to start schools in Dallas.
- And Restoration business professionals are ministering where they are, leading prayer times in their workplaces.
And, these are just the things that I am aware of in our church.
Let me be clear about this, it is our heart that we become a community where the Kingdom of God is made visible in everything we do. As the nineteenth century German Pastor Christoph Blumhardt wrote:
The kingdom of God must be foreshadowed in a human community. The apostle Paul calls this community the body of Christ, of which Christ is the head (1 Cor. 12:12-27). Peter describes it like a building, where each stone fits the next so that the building becomes complete (1 Pet. 2:4-12). Jesus calls it his little flock, where all love one another, where each answers for the other and all answer for the one. As such, we are fighters for the future, through whom the earth must become bright. In this way God’s kingdom comes into the present, just as it shall be in the future.
This week Restoration transitions from the City Season to the Church Season, turning our collective focus to our identity as God’s beloved people—the Church. It is my hope and prayer that we approach this fall season of intensive discipleship and emphasis on belonging to each other with just as much vigor. Never underestimate the the way God uses his people living in community to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in the world. I am reminded of the first Christians in Jerusalem, a little community that got together and “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer and the Lord added to their numbers” (Act 2:42).