It’s been a full 48 hours since our public launch service and I’m still trying to get my mind and heart around everything God did on Sunday morning.
The Scriptures tell us God is able to do, “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.“(Eph. 3:20) We love to quote that verse but sometimes we forget there’s no period at the end of verse 20. We’ve got to include verse 21 to get the full thought, “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.“(Eph. 3:21) The abundantly more of God is always orchestrated to display the glory of God. When God moves powerfully, it’s always to display His glory and draw worship from His people.
From the beginning, I have prayed that God would do something through this church that cannot be explained any other way than the sovereign power of Christ. I don’t want people to be able to point to a preacher, a band, a venue, the church we were planted out of or any other factor and explain what God is doing through RCC. I want people to look at everything our team brings to the table and realize there must be something more at work than our effort in this church. When the sum of what happens through Restoration City exceeds our capacity, there’s no other explanation than the power of God.
You can’t explain this past Sunday any other way than the power of God. Every single one of our teams did an amazing job – Production, Connect and RCCKids all had incredible mornings. I kept hearing from people how welcome they felt, how comfortable they felt with RCCKids and how the service impacted them. Our prayer and outreach teams had already laid such a solid foundation for us. Worship was powerful and the gospel was presented clearly. I loved seeing local restaurants packed with people after the service. It was an amazing morning!
On Sunday, God reminded all of us that He’s faithful to His promises. That isn’t ever going to change. So, we can walk with confidence as a church into the future – the same God who stunned us this past Sunday is with us today, tomorrow, this Sunday and as long as RCC exists!
Thank you, Jesus!!!
One of the unexpected blessings of planting a church in DC has been the incredible support Restoration City has received from other local pastors. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to meet other brothers in Christ for lunch, for coffee and for prayer. I love interacting with leaders who understand other local churches aren’t competition but collaborators.
God is doing something really unique in our city this month and I’m excited that Restoration City Church will be participating in the Washington Prayer Gathering on Monday, October 13th. The vision for this event is simple – inviting the Christians of DC to gather at the Lincoln Memorial for a time of prayer on behalf of our city. We aren’t coming together to lift up the name of a church, a leader or a ministry. We’re simply coming together across denominational, racial and geographic lines to pray for our city.
I’m going to be there on the 13th and would love to see you as well. For more information, check out the Washington Prayer Gathering Facebook page.
If you haven’t been to restorationcitydc.com 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!
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!
“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.
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: https://www.facebook.com/events/764989506893699/
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!
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.