This weekend, we’re taking an exciting step in the growth as our church – I’m going to try to get a bunch of you to leave! Don’t worry, I’m not going to do it with bad jokes or offensive comments in the sermon (at least, that’s not the plan). Instead, I’m going to ask some of you to buy into the vision of helping plant a new Christ centered church in Herndon, VA. You’ll have an opportunity to take a concrete step towards that by attending Allan McCullough’s interest meeting for Grace Hill Church right after our gathering this Sunday.
It’s a really big deal for us as a church to be a part of gospel multiplication here in the DC area – that’s why we plant churches. And it’s a massive deal for you to take the step of joining a church plant launch team. After all, I’m asking you to leave a church you like (right?) to step into something that is less familiar and riskier. Grace Hill will share a lot of DNA with Restoration City but it will also be different, it’ll be a new community, and a new expression of the church.
So, how do you know if God is calling you to be a part of planting Grace Hill?
- It will make you more effective in reaching people for Jesus. In some ways, this is the only answer to the question. We don’t plant churches to give Christians new Sunday morning options. We plant churches to reach people who don’t follow Jesus. That means deciding to join a church plant team really isn’t about you. It’s about the people in your life who don’t know Jesus. It’s about making it easier to invite them to church or a community group. Yes, that often means geography. But not simply from a “it’s a shorter drive for me” perspective. It’s from a “my family and friends would be better served by this” perspective.
- Willingness to sacrifice for gospel multiplication. This is a logical extension of the first point – joining a church plant team isn’t about you! It’s not about your comfort, your convenience or your consumption. Don’t join a launch team to be served, join one to serve! The first days of any church are a struggle. There’s never enough resources, never enough volunteers and so much to do. If you aren’t willing to offer your hands, your heart and your resources to the plant, don’t go. But if you’re willing to lean in, put on a serving towel, give generously and champion the gospel, you’ll do just fine!
- Commitment to Grace Hill’s leadership, vision, mission and culture. Church planting isn’t about you. On the other hand, it is about creating a community that you’ll likely be a part of for a long time. So, you need to buy into the leadership, vision, mission, and culture of the new plant. Don’t go to be the dissenter who’s constantly trying to force change. If you can’t enthusiastically embrace the leadership, vision, mission and culture of the plant, it’s going to be a bad experience for you and the rest of the team.
- Confirmation from Community Group Leaders or pastors. Don’t make this decision on your own. Talk to your Community Group Leaders, your close friends or one of our pastors. We would be honored to pray with you, to process with you and speak into the decision any way we can. Please, don’t walk this road alone. Lean into the blessing of community at Restoration City even as you’re praying about being sent to form a new community of faith.
Planting a church isn’t about your convenience. It’s about God’s mission. It’s one of the most thrilling things you’ll ever be a part of in this life. I’m praying God will fill you with the courage to join in planting Grace Hill if that’s where He’s leading. But I want you to go for the right reasons, with the right expectations.
To learn more about Grace Hill, click here.
There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as dreaming about something for a long time and then seeing God exceed all of your expectations. That was definitely the story this past weekend as we brought the launch team of Restoration City Church together for our first ever retreat. We had expected it to be a great weekend but I don’t think any of us anticipated God doing as much as He did and leaving our hearts as full as they are right now.
One of the greatest challenges and blessings we’ve had in the process of planting this church has been a launch team that is currently living in two different locations. About 40% of our team still lives in Raleigh-Durham and the other 60% is already in DC. Don’t get me wrong, that’s an awesome problem to have! But it’s still a challenge because those two teams have, for the most part, never met. Until this weekend.
Finally, the majority of our team was in one place. And there was no more appropriate place for that to happen than right in Washington, DC. From Friday evening through Sunday afternoon we all got to do life together – build community, pray over our city, worship together, take communion together and celebrate all God is doing through the planting of this church.
So many things happened that filled my heart with hope for our little church. The DC folks were such gracious hosts. The team that planned the retreat did an amazing job. We genuinely loved and cared for one another. And so much more.
All of that was great but I don’t think it’s the big story of what God did. The big story was us becoming one team. There isn’t a DC team or an RDU team any more. There’s only a Restoration City Launch Team. Yeah, some of us are in RDU today and some are in DC (and one in Richmond!) but we’re one team of people.
Now the job is to preserve the unity God forged this weekend. I pray God would give us the grace to live out Ephesians 4:1-3, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Restoration City, we’re united by more than a great weekend. We’re united in Christ – Jesus purchased our unity on the cross. We’re already one. We just need to act like it and live it out. And I can’t think of a group of people I would rather do that with than the incredible people God has called to plant this church.
It’s wasn’t just a great weekend. It was a game changer for us!
Restoration City Church will be hosting our first interest meeting in Washington, DC on Sunday, January 19th. If you live in the DC area, want to learn more about RCC and might be interested in joining our launch team, this meeting is for you. Even if you’re just curious about church planting in general, you are more than welcome to join us. All we ask is that you RSVP online at: https://restorationcitydc.wufoo.com/forms/restoration-city-church-dc-interest-meeting/.
For the last five months, Laura and I have been recruiting a launch team from The Summit Church in Durham, NC and God has blessed our team beyond all our expectations. As we’ve been building our team in Durham, we’ve been so encouraged to hear from so many of you in the DC area. It turns out there are quite a few “Summit Alumni” already in DC as well as friends we’ve known for years. We would love to tell all of you more about what God has been doing in Durham, what RCC is going to look like and how you can be involved.
We are waiting to hear back from several venues and will confirm the exact time and location of the meeting as soon as we are able. But I can tell you the meeting will be in the afternoon of the 19th. So, please, save the date on your calendar.
There is so much ahead for our church and our city. We would love to see you as we take our first step in DC on the 19th.
For Christ’s Fame In DC,