There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as dreaming about something for a long time and then seeing God exceed all of your expectations. That was definitely the story this past weekend as we brought the launch team of Restoration City Church together for our first ever retreat. We had expected it to be a great weekend but I don’t think any of us anticipated God doing as much as He did and leaving our hearts as full as they are right now.
One of the greatest challenges and blessings we’ve had in the process of planting this church has been a launch team that is currently living in two different locations. About 40% of our team still lives in Raleigh-Durham and the other 60% is already in DC. Don’t get me wrong, that’s an awesome problem to have! But it’s still a challenge because those two teams have, for the most part, never met. Until this weekend.
Finally, the majority of our team was in one place. And there was no more appropriate place for that to happen than right in Washington, DC. From Friday evening through Sunday afternoon we all got to do life together – build community, pray over our city, worship together, take communion together and celebrate all God is doing through the planting of this church.
So many things happened that filled my heart with hope for our little church. The DC folks were such gracious hosts. The team that planned the retreat did an amazing job. We genuinely loved and cared for one another. And so much more.
All of that was great but I don’t think it’s the big story of what God did. The big story was us becoming one team. There isn’t a DC team or an RDU team any more. There’s only a Restoration City Launch Team. Yeah, some of us are in RDU today and some are in DC (and one in Richmond!) but we’re one team of people.
Now the job is to preserve the unity God forged this weekend. I pray God would give us the grace to live out Ephesians 4:1-3, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Restoration City, we’re united by more than a great weekend. We’re united in Christ – Jesus purchased our unity on the cross. We’re already one. We just need to act like it and live it out. And I can’t think of a group of people I would rather do that with than the incredible people God has called to plant this church.
It’s wasn’t just a great weekend. It was a game changer for us!