Thank you to everyone who signed up for community groups and volunteer positions during our “Aloha to Fall” kickoff event last Sunday. It was not only a fun time of fellowship after the service but also a very successful event. Hopefully your kids have come down from their sugar craze from the snow cones and are no longer bouncing off the walls. It took my kids a few days. If you missed “Aloha to Fall” take 2 minutes to fill out this form to help us connect you with great fall groups and service teams.
I want to remind you of a well known saying, “Momentum is everything.” Beginning this new season well is good but we need to keep our momentum going through the fall and into the winter at Restoration. As we start out this fall in our life together, I encourage you to keep up with the challenges we have put out to the Restoration family that build our momentum together.
1) Help us with the “ministry of presence” by arriving at church 15 minutes early to welcome new visitors. According to church researcher Thom Rainer, a top reason why people choose and stay at a church is because they are welcomed by a friendly person and find the congregation to be friendly. 82% of guests say that being greeted by someone from the community influences their decision to return. We all have a ministry every Sunday morning as we welcome others to engage with Restoration.
2) Become missional in everything that you do. Most people (myself included) divide our lives into silos where we neatly categorize and compartmentalize our regular activities. Work, school, family, hobbies, and church are kept carefully separated. To live missionally is to bring down the walls and look for ministry opportunities in all of life. This fall we will lean into what in means to be missional in everything that we do.
3) Attend church weekly. Recently I heard a stat that shocked and frightened me. In the 1950s the “average church attender” worshiped at church 3 out of 4 Sundays a month. Today, 70 years later, the “average church attender” worships 1 out of 12 Sundays (Pew Research). Sporadic church attendance doesn’t promote spiritual health and it make is impossible to develop meaningful community—which is my next point.
4) Stay connected with your community groups. We know this will take sacrifice and calendar juggling but there are enormous benefits to staying involved in a church community group. Thom Rainer highlights that 62% of the congregation stays at a church because they are a part of a community group. Meaningful relationships are built in community groups so we ask everyone to make a commitment to be involved.
5) Follow through with your volunteer commitment. We can’t thank you all enough for the way you serve each week. Most other churches would be envious to know that 70% of our congregation volunteers. Restoration runs on volunteer help and we will continue to grow with volunteer help! So please let us know when you can serve, show up on time, and offer your best as you serve God by serving his people.
6) Invite your friends and family. The number one reason why visitors attend a new church is because the church was recommended or they were invited by someone they know. 64% of the people attend who attend a church were invited by a friend or family member. If Restoration is your church don’t be shy in telling others about it because many people in your life are looking for an invitation to belong
I’m issuing these six challenges to Restoration because we are on a mission together. Our founding passage of scripture comes from 1 Corinthians 9 (The Message): 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!
Take my challenge to be “in on it.” Restoration is building great momentum together!