Praying Our Way Towards Gunston


I just got back to the office after doing a quick walk through at Gunston Middle School with some of our team leaders.  Honestly, every time I go there, I get more and more excited for what God is going to do through this space.

It’s an amazing facility (from the parking, to the lobby, to the theater, to kids space) that He’s allowed us to use.  I loved walking through the space imagining what it’s going to look like on July 10th when we’re all there together!

We also took a few minutes to pray over the space.  As we were doing that, I kept thinking of Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” That’s not a promise that God will do whatever we want.  It’s an invitation to trust God that He will do what’s best for His glory and our good.  The word translated commit literally means, “to roll.”  That creates such a beautiful picture of what this verse is really saying – roll the burden of your work to the Lord since He is the One with the power to make it happen.

That’s what I want to be doing as we get ready to move into Gunston on July 10th- rolling the burden to God.  He’s the One who can give us favor with the administration.  He’s the One who will show us how to reach our community.  He’s the One that will establish relationships with families who attend Gunston.  He’s the One that will enable us to reach both sides of Glebe.  He’s the One who will bring all things to pass.

Please join me in committing Gunston to the Lord over the next two weeks.  When the Spirit prompts you, take a minute to pray for the faculty and staff of that school, the families who attend Gunston and the work the Lord wants to do through us as we gather in the theater on Sunday mornings.  Today, I’m specifically asking the Lord to give all of our Sunday morning team leaders wisdom as they figure out how to make the best use of the new space.

I honestly can’t wait for you all to see the space!  But for now, let’s just be praying towards what God is going to do there in a few short weeks.

College Students: TONIGHT @ Greenberry’s


I know I’ve said it countless times but – Restoration City loves college students!  We believe in you and we believe in God’s plan to use you for His glory on your campus.  As a church, we want to champion, resource and encourage you in that mission any way we can.  That’s why we’re offering a summer Community Group specifically for college students and interns who are in DC for the summer.

That’s why we’ve rented out the Greenberry’s at 1805 E Street for your Community Group.  We want you to have a great environment to invite your friends, study God’s Word, meet new people and enjoy a great summer evening.  It’s an amazing coffee shop in an unbelievable location – close to campus and it has plenty of street parking in the evenings.

Here’s the basics:

RCC College Community Group

Wednesdays, 7.30PM

Greenberrry’s at 1805 E Street

So, if you’re in college, we want you to be there tonight.  It doesn’t matter if you go to Restoration City or not.  It doesn’t matter if you’re only in town for a few weeks.  It doesn’t matter if you’re just home for the summer. The only thing that matters is that you’re a college student.

Marshall Griffin, our college director, is going to be leading a study through the Book of Ephesians – he’s a great guy and a gifted teacher.

You’re not going to want to miss this!!


Big News: New Location & A Church Planting Residency


Everything about yesterday left me overwhelmed by God’s goodness and His faithfulness to us as a church.  If you weren’t with us yesterday morning, here are the two big headlines you missed:

  • Starting on Sunday, July 10th, Restoration City will be gathering at Gunston Middle School in South Arlington.
  • We’re establishing a church planting residency this summer to support Allan McCullough as he plants Grace Hill Church in Herndon, VA in 2017.

In the days to come, I’ll be writing much more about both.  But for now, l want to make sure we’re all caught up and on the same page.  So, here’s a little more info:

The Move To Gunston

Gunston Middle School is located at 2700 S Lang Street, a whopping seven minutes up the road from our current location.  If you’re coming out of the District, it’ll take even less than 7 extra minutes to get there – so, it’s not like we’re moving to the other side of the city or anything.

The bottom line is we need to make this move.  Our RCCKids ministry has grown significantly over the last six months and there’s just no way to serve the growing number of kids in the current space. We looked at every option and realized moving was really our only choice.

Our biggest concern in making this move is the lack of public transportation to Gunston, particularly for college students coming from the District.  So, we’re creating a partnership with Lyft to shuttle students from campus to Gunston.  Bottom line, if you want to be at Restoration City, we’re going to get you there!

Church Planting Residency

One of the crazy dreams we had in planting Restoration City was to be part of planting another church here in the DC area before our 3rd birthday.  By God’s grace, that vision is becoming a reality through Allan and his team.

Our residency is based out of Restoration City but offered in conjunction with The Summit Network.  That means Allan and his family will be part of our community for 10 months (July 1 – April 30) while receiving all the benefits of training with the other Summit Network residents.

When Allan’s residency is over, he and his team will be planting Grace Hill Church in Herndon, VA.  Personally, I can’t wait to have another Summit Network church here in the DC area.

I also can’t wait to see how God is going to move in building the launch team for Grace Hill.  It’s crazy to think that some of us are going to go be a part of what God is doing through this new church.  That’s really hard to think about but it’s also a really beautiful thing and exactly what God calls us to do to advance the gospel.  But we’ve got plenty of time to think through all of that!

For now, I hope you’ll join me in thanking God for His grace to us as a church.  I love where He’s leading us and I love being on this journey with all of you.  The best is yet to come!

Moving & The Will Of God

Winding Road

Last week, Laura and I moved our family to a new apartment in search of more space for our soon-to-be family of five.  So, that means I’ve spent the last couple of days carrying boxes, cleaning out the old place, carrying boxes, unpacking those boxes and carrying a few more boxes!

But I’m not writing to grumble about moving.

I’m writing in the hopes that the journey our family has been on for the last few months will be helpful for you as you follow God in your life.  I’m writing because Laura and I never thought we would end up living in a mid-rise apartment in the west end of Alexandria.  Yet, that’s exactly where the Lord has us.

And it all goes back to December 8, 2015.

I remember being in the gym that morning, doing my best not to die on the treadmill, listening to a podcast and praying/thinking through the day ahead.  Later that afternoon I was going to be meeting with a group of Southern Baptist pastors interested in supporting church plants in DC.  So, I was getting my vision caster/fundraiser game face on.  As part of that, I was mentally rehearsing stats about how many people live in this area, how quickly it is growing, etc…  I was getting more and more excited to tell these pastors about the mission field God had called us to.  And then all of a sudden, I felt like Laura and I should be doing more to reach our community.  I remembered my conversations with the leaders of a ministry called Apartment Life and felt like God might be leading Laura and I to move into an apartment in the Crystal City/Pentagon City area through this ministry.  That was a stretch for us – we had been renting a row house and weren’t thrilled about going to an apartment (our kids are loud and we didn’t want to live underneath someone running a makeshift dance studio in the apartment above us!).  But we felt like it was how the Lord was leading.

So, Laura and I started down the road of getting plugged in with Apartment Life.  We did applications and interviews.  We introduced the ministry to the church one Sunday morning.  I told the whole church Laura and I had applied and wanted to serve as a CARES Team through this ministry.  We were accepted into the program and totally believed this was God’s next step for us as a family.

But by the middle of April, it was starting to look like Apartment Life wasn’t going to have a community to place us in.  Honestly, I wasn’t worried.  I totally expected the Lord to pull something out at the last minute.  But by the beginning of May, that was looking less and less likely.  And we knew we needed to be out of our old place by May 31st.  Unsure of what else to do, we started looking for other places – including apartments.  Honestly, we probably never would have included apartments in our search if it wasn’t for the months of praying for Apartment Life.

Finding out that we’re having our third child this fall made it really clear we needed to move.  We knew we needed more space and didn’t have a lot of room to increase our budget.  So, we started looking.  And getting frustrated.  And discouraged.  And concerned. There wasn’t anything available in the time frame we needed!

Finally, we found the place we’re in now.  It meant we had to leave the Del Ray neighborhood that we loved so much.  But it’s the best option for our family in this season of life.  So, we moved in last week.

That story is in some ways very boring – we thought we were going to serve with a ministry, God closed a door, so we did something else.  But I’m also hoping it’s helpful in at least two ways:

  1.  Don’t be afraid of messing up God’s plan.  Clearly, Apartment Life wasn’t the Lord’s will for our family in this season.  We really thought it was, were excited to serve, prayed for God to open doors and did everything we could think of to help open those doors.  But as Job writes, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)  Don’t worry.  You aren’t going to mess up God’s plan for your life.
  2. Go for it.  That means we have the freedom to go for it more often.  I would rather live my life trying to make things happen and trusting God to close doors than waiting idly for God to open doors.  I don’t regret trying to get placed through Apartment Life or feel badly that it didn’t work out.  I like knowing we went for it, put ourselves out there and did everything we could to leverage our lives for the sake of mission.

More often than not, this is what it looks like to follow Jesus – an unexpected road to an unexpected destination.  Even when the road doesn’t make sense, we can trust the One leading us and know that He’s in control and unfolding our lives according to His plans.