For The City: This Sunday & Every Sunday

Downtown DC

Almost two years later, the vision of Restoration City hasn’t changed at all – we exist to see spiritual, relational and cultural restoration in our nation’s capital.  If anything, we have more clarity about what that looks like.  It means a radical faith in the power of the gospel and a determination to be an undeniable positive in our community.  We want to point to Jesus and do it in a way that people in DC are glad we’re here.

That’s why this coming Sunday is such a big deal for us as a church.  Yes, we’re celebrating our new gathering location at Gunston Middle School.  Yes, I’m looking forward to having most of the church back together now that summer vacation season is coming to an end.  But we’re praying God will use this Sunday as a tremendous blessing to our community.  That’s why we’ll have two different food trucks at Gunston after our gathering along with face paints and balloon artists for the kids.  That’s why we’ve sent out mailers to those living closest to Gunston.  That’s why I’m starting a short series out of Luke 15.  That’s why our Connect Team is working overtime to do everything we can think of to great our first time guests well.

We want to welcome our community to our church.  And we want to see Jesus change lives like only He can.  That’s the real point – not food trucks or balloon animals.  We want to hold the door wide open for people to encounter the glory of Jesus in a totally life changing way.  

And you have a huge role to play in that.

Here’s my question – who are you inviting to come to church with you this Sunday?  I pray you have an answer and I pray you will be bold enough to extend an invitation whether that’s in person or with a text.  We’re not responsible for whether or not they decide to come – that’s up to them!  But we are the ones God has called to do the inviting!

Restoration City, this is why we exist.  This is why we planted this church.  It was never about us and it never will be.  It’ll always be about the glory of Christ and the good of this city.  I’m praying God will capture our hearts all over again with that vision and inspire us to live as ambassadors for Christ this week.

Be bold!

Loving Gunston = Serving Gunston

School SuppliesThese next two weekends are absolutely massive for us as a church.  Ever since it became clear that the Lord was leading us to gather weekly at Gunston Middle School, we’ve talked about what a strategic opportunity this is for us as a church to love and serve our community.  We’ve dreamed about having an undeniably positive impact on the school. We’re cast the vision of being the group the school calls when they have a need.

And now we get to make good on all of that.  Gunston has approached us with two very specific requests:

  1.  An urgent need to get some painting done before the start of the school year.  If you’re free between 9.30 – 11.30 tomorrow morning (Saturday, August 20th), please come to Gunston to help us paint.  You can sign up at rcc.church/gunston.
  2. A large need for back to school backpacks and supplies.  We will be collecting the following this Sunday and next:
    • backpacks
    • glue sticks
    • binders
    • #2 pencils
    • colored pencils
    • 3×5 index cards
    • 5 subject notebooks
    • 3 subject notebooks

Here’s why this matters so much: we are ambassadors for Christ. (2 Cor. 5:20)  The way we handle these requests is going to communicate volumes to Gunston not just about Restoration City but also about Jesus.  We represent Him!  So, this isn’t a game of “let’s exceed their expectations so they’ll be really nice to us.”  This is a question of “let’s show the immeasurable power and generosity of Jesus.”  That’s what we want.  We don’t want Gunston to think that Jesus over promises and under delivers.

So, on behalf of Jesus, let’s knock the ball out of the park the next few days!  I’m praying we not only meet the full need at Gunston but exceed it in every way possible.  That would just make sense if we’re ambassadors for the God who is able to do “exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.”(Eph. 3:20).

Please join me in showing our love for Gunston through how we serve Gunston.

Praying Our Way Towards Gunston

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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.

Big News: New Location & A Church Planting Residency

News

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!