Rest: The Person, The Mission and The Provision Of God

Rest video FINAL from Restoration City Church on Vimeo.

As you spend time with Jesus today, the following questions may help guide your thoughts and prayers.  It’s a long list, so don’t worry about getting to all of them.  Just use the ones you find most helpful.

  • Do you spend time with Jesus to earn His blessing or enjoy His presence?
  • Are there any changes you need to make to your daily routine to find more regular time with Jesus?
  • Are you growing in your understanding of the gospel and it’s implications for your life?
  • What was the best book you read this past year?
  • What has been the most important thing you’ve learned about God and yourself this past year?
  • Think back over the last year, what was the one time you most felt like God was working through you?
  • Who is the one person you would like to see baptized this year?  Are you praying for them regularly?
  • When you think of the year ahead, what’s one way you think Jesus wants to use you to reach and disciple others?
  • Are you living beyond what God has provided with your finances, time or energy?  Where do you need to cut back?
  • Where are the places in life where you know your five loaves and two fishes are inadequate to the challenge in front of you?  How are you training yourself not to replace fear with faith?
  • Is there anything you’re not pursuing because you’re not sure God will provide?

Enjoy today, Restoration City.  The Scripture promises that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.(James 4:8)  That’s more than enough to make today incredible!

Getting The Most Out Of This Sunday

maximizing rest

Hopefully, you’ve heard by now that Restoration City is NOT gathering this Sunday, August 16th.  We’re taking an intentional day of rest at the start of an intentional week of rest. I’m convinced it’s going to be a great day for all of us – if we use it well.  That’s where this post comes in – I want to offer you some really practical thoughts on how you can get the most out of this Sunday.

What NOT To Do

Resist the temptation to use this Sunday for any of the following:

  • Getting caught up on work (whether that’s your job, running errands, doing laundry or paying bills).  Don’t even think about being productive!
  • Visiting another church.  I mean that in the least territorial, defensive way possible!  But if the goal of Sunday was to participate in corporate worship, we would just meet ourselves.
  • Scheduling anything you don’t want to do.

What To Expect

  • Earlier this month, I recorded a 10 minute video based on Mark 6:30-44.  We’ll post that to this blog early on Sunday morning as a resource to guide your morning.  Check it out – it’ll give you a Biblical framework for the day.
  • We’ll also post some reflection questions on Sunday morning.  They’ll be the kind of questions that lead to some good reflection and journaling.

What To Do

  • Block out 9am – 1pm on your calendar this Sunday, roughly the hours you devote to our weekly gathering.  Don’t schedule anything.
  • Develop a plan.  Where do you want to go and what do you want to do during that time?  Hike into the woods with your Bible?  Lay out by the pool?  Read and journal in a coffeeshop?  Have brunch with your spouse?
  • Here are the questions that should guide your planning:
    • Where do you connect most with God?
    • How do you ensure you get some time in the Word and prayer?
    • Are you more in need of time by yourself or with a good friend?
    • What is the one thing you could do this Sunday that would give life to your soul?  Remember, this is all about getting time with Jesus.
  • If you have kids, figure out how you want to handle them.  Maybe get a babysitter?  Divide 9-1 into two shifts and each of you get 2 hours to be by yourself and 2 with the kids?

Using Sunday well is going to take a little planning.  Remember the goal – to get time with Jesus in a way that pours life into your soul.  Don’t waste this gift by sleeping in, doing laundry and answering email.  Do the things that give life to your soul!

Why Restoration City Is NOT Gathering This Sunday

why rest

Can you believe it?  Restoration City Church is NOT gathering this Sunday.  What kind of a slacker church shuts down for a week?  Just to add to the insanity, none of our Community Groups will meet next week either.  We’re shutting the whole thing down for seven straight days.

It’s not that we couldn’t find a band.  I’m not burning out.  We’re not in crisis.  In fact, everything’s going just fine.  So, what’s this all about?

Simple answer: REST.  

The benefits of resting as a church are huge:

  • We’re reminded that church is a community you join, not an event you attend.  It’s so easy to think about church as a Sunday morning event and a mid-week Community Group.  But it’s so much more than that – it’s a family that loves, encourages and cares for one another.  We’re still the church, even when we don’t gather.
  • Our volunteer teams get a Sunday to recharge.  Sunday morning would literally not happen without an incredible team of volunteers who do everything from lead worship, to production, to RCCKids, to connect, to our prayer team.  I love the thought of that team having one Sunday this summer when they don’t need to pour out and can create space for God to pour in to them.  This is a massive thank you to those who serve all of us week in and week out.
  • We’re reminded what a joy it is to be together on a Sunday morning.  They say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and in some ways I think that’s true.  I love the fact that I will genuinely miss each one of you on Sunday morning.  There’s something good about missing one another – it’ll make the reunion on the 23rd that much sweeter.
  • This allows us to champion rest in a city that’s terrible at it.  Our culture may pay lip service to the idea of taking care of yourself but most of DC is horrible at resting.  If you don’t believe me, send a work email at 9PM tonight and see how long it takes to get a reply!  Maybe it’ll help to think of it this way – we’re creating space for us to practice resting.

This past year has been incredible in the life of Restoration City and I honestly believe we’re going to see God do some amazing things in this city over the fall.  Let’s take a week to look back at all He’s done and prepare ourselves for all He’s going to do.

Tomorrow, I’ll post some very specific things you can do to get the most out of this coming Sunday morning.