Live With a New Website

If you haven’t been to in a while you owe it to yourself to go check it out and see the new look.  We launched a new website over the weekend and I’m so grateful to the team that made it happen.  It’s simple, clean and user friendly.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding some increased functionality – including a sermon podcast.  But for now, all of the basics are live on the site.

As we move forward as a church, our plan is to use the website as the main communication tool for the church.  We’re going to save a few trees and a few dollars by not printing up a bulletin to distribute on Sunday mornings.  We’ll still do announcements at our Sunday gathering and send a weekly email but we’re going to rely on the website as our official communication tool.  It will be regularly updated and always have correct and official information.

So, don’t just go check out the site.  Bookmark it as well!

PackDC – This Saturday

I love that Restoration City is joining with other churches from Arlington county for PackDC this Saturday.  It’s going to be an awesome day as we pack 40,000 meals for the hungry of our city.  If you want to be a part of this, there’s still time for you to join us.  You just need to register online.

Here’s what you need to know:

When: September 27, 2014, 2-5PM
Where: Cherrydale Baptist Church (2910 Lorcam Lane, Arlington, Virginia, 22207)
Cost: Bring $5 to cover the cost of your food!

Part of the vision for this event is to unite the young professionals in our city to accomplish something for our city.  So, this event is for singles only…married folks, you’ve got to sit this one out!

Praying Our Way To Launch

“You do not have because you do not ask.”

When I think about launching Restoration City Church on October 12th, one of my greatest desires is to make sure those words cannot be spoken of us. Those famous words were written to the early church by James (James 4:2) but if we aren’t careful, they could easily apply to us today.

There’s so much to do in advance of launching a church – people to invite, plans to make, teams to develop – that we could easily neglect the most important thing: prayer.  I don’t want to stand in the Synetic Theater on the 12th and think, “we have not, because we asked not.”

So, I’m asking you to pray with me every day between now and the launch of this church.  To facilitate that, we are posting a prayer topic and Scripture reference to Restoration City’s Twitter account and Facebook page every day leading to the launch.  All I’m asking is that you track along with those prayer topics and take a few minutes in your day to pray with us.

I want us to stand in the confidence of Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  I pray these next weeks are a season of asking, seeking and knocking for us at Restoration City.

Easy Invite

If you’re looking for a way to let people know about Restoration City and invite them to join us on October 12th, it doesn’t get any easier than this.  We created a Facebook event for our first Sunday service so you can easily invite people to join us.  No, this doesn’t take the place of investing in people, loving our city and sharing the gospel.  But it is a really easy way to start a conversation or get the launch service on people’s calendars.

So, can I ask you to do two things today?

1.  Let us know that you’re coming.

2.  Invite your friends.

It’s that simple.  Here’s the event page:

Kids and Community Groups

Community Groups are a really big deal at Restoration City.  They are the way we connect people to our church and start our discipleship process.  They aren’t a program we offer; they are an expression of who we are.

So, we want every single person who calls RCC home to be connected with one of our Community Groups.  That includes parents of small children.  In some ways, these young parents are the people in our church most in need of a night with other adults and conversation about what God is doing in their lives.  But many parents don’t see a Community Group as a viable option because of childcare expenses.  Finding a babysitter is hard enough.  Paying one is even harder.

As a church, we want to help parents attend a Community Group without paying for childcare.  In order to do that, we need a team of volunteers who would be willing to babysit as a way of serving young parents.  If we get enough volunteers, they idea is for you to serve every 2-3 weeks with the same CG or family.  As a parent of a young child, I can tell you that your willingness to serve in this capacity would be a huge gift to our RCC families!

You’ll have a chance to sign up for this opportunity on Sunday and I’m praying many of you will take it!

For The Good Of Our City

September 2014 ServeDC Team

September 2014 ServeDC Team

I loved being at Windmill Hill Park in Alexandria, VA this past Saturday morning as part of our first ever ServeDC experience as a church.  It was insanely hot, humid and fun!  As our team was busy power washing, scraping and clearing brush, I kept silently praying “Thank You, God” over and over.  I loved seeing so many from our church plant serving.  I loved how hard everyone was working – we seriously would be an amazing landscaping crew!!  I loved how much fun people were having and I loved seeing new faces.  To top it off, we were able to have several conversations with people from the neighborhood and county staff about who we are as a church, Jesus and the gospel.  It was a great day!

It’s also very much in keeping with what God calls Israel to do during their exile in Babylon, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7)  At Restoration City, we want to live this out as people God has sent to DC.  We want to pray for our city and we want to seek the welfare of our city.  We want DC to be better because we exist as a church.  We want to be a blessing to our city and show DC the kind of grace we have received from Jesus.

Yes, our ultimate prayer is for spiritual awakening in this city – the kind of awakening that comes only through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We love preaching that gospel in our sermons and in our daily conversations.  We do it joyfully and without apology.  But if we preach it without living it, we shouldn’t be surprised when our city takes little notice.  ServeDC is one small way of living the gospel we preach; the gospel that makes dead men come to life through faith in Jesus.

DC has plenty of critics and haters.  I love being a part of a church that loves this city and seeks its good.

ServeDC – September 6th

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s ServeDC event.  Here’s everything you need to know to join us and have a great experience.


Saturday, September 6, 2014
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Windmill Hill Park- near the volleyball court.
501 S Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314 (Map)

Important instructions:

Please join us promptly (for prayer & kickoff/task assignments) at 9 am wearing your RCC T-shirt.  If you don’t have one yet, please let us know, and we will provide you one on Saturday morning.  Please dress to get dirty and for using water, and bring a clean pair of work/gardening-type gloves. All other supplies will be provided. 

The forecast looks clear of rain, but could be hot, so please remember to bring sunscreen and water. If it does rain, please still plan to participate as this project is mostly in a tunnel so rain will not impact it.

RCC will be providing snacks and additional water as well.

RSVP Instructions:

If you have a CCB account, please RSVP to the event by clicking here: LINK

If you do not have a CCB account please email Caitlin Kamerman to tell her you plan to attend.

The Alexandria organization that has helped us coordinate the serveDC location has been wonderful, PLEASE help us show our appreciation by also signing up on their registration link below (this onlytakes a moment), so that they can get credit for our event participation.  Please register at: LINK

Restoration City September Update

We’re only 40 days away from the public launch of Restoration City Church.

On Sunday, October 12th,  we will be celebrating all Jesus has done on the improbable journey of bringing this church to life.  One year ago, Laura and I had just started a church planting residency with The Summit in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  We knew God was calling us to plant a new church in DC and we knew He would be faithful to all of His promises.  Other than that, it was a pretty blank slate.

What God has written on that slate has been stunning.  He’s raised up a launch team that now exceeds 60 people.  Our four Community Groups are approaching capacity and we’re making plans to launch more this fall.  Ministry teams are coming to life, people are being reached in our community and we’re looking forward to celebrating our first baptisms as a church on September 14th, four weeks before our launch!

For all of that, I truly believe the best is yet to come.

Sunday, October 12th is going to be a huge celebration of God’s faithfulness in bringing this church to life.  We will be meeting at 10a.m. in The Synetic Theater, located in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va.  The theater, which will be home for Restoration City’s weekly gatherings, is in an incredibly strategic location less than a block from the Crystal City Metro.

These next 40 days are a time of preparation and anticipation for our team as we prepare for our public launch.  If you would like to join us in that, we would love your support.  The single most important thing you could do is pray that RCC will make much of Jesus in our city.  You might also want to make plans to join us on October 12th.  Finally, we would be grateful if God leads you to support Restoration City financially.  We’re trusting God to provide the nearly $30,000 in start-up costs we’re anticipating in the next two months and would love your help in meeting that goal.  If you would like to contribute, you can do so online.

As our launch draws near, we’re mindful that October 12th isn’t the completion of everything God is going to write on the slate of RCC.  Quite the opposite – it’s the beginning of Him writing the story of what He will accomplish though this church in our nation’s capital.

For regular updates up to and through the launch, make sure you visit

For Restoration In DC,

John McGowan