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.

What?!? No Church Picnic?

DC 4thEvery year when we don’t schedule a church picnic over the 4th of July weekend, I’m reminded of how much I love Restoration City Church.  I know that sounds strange.  After all, if I really loved the church, I would want to spend the 4th together.  You know the drill – figure out who has the best “secret” fireworks watching spot in the city, have a cookout and have a great time together.  It honestly sounds like fun to me.

Maybe the only thing I would enjoy more is creating space for our church to live on mission this weekend. Go to your neighborhood block party, hang out at the apartment complex pool, invite some friends over to grill out, get a crew together and go to the Mall (not the shopping one, the national one!).  Do whatever you want to do.  Include others from the church.  But find a way to include others who don’t know the gospel.  It’s one the easiest ways we can start living on mission.

That’s why we don’t do a church picnic.  It’s not that we don’t like each other.  It’s that we have a mission that’s worthy of a little sacrifice.  The big question is whether you’ll use the space well.  You don’t have to scrap your plans at this point.  But maybe you should expand the invite list by a few names.

Happy 4th!

Keep On Sowing

Earlier this week, I had a great conversation with a bus driver.  I was on the MetroWay bus from our house into Crystal City and struck up a conversation with the driver about the weather and how I almost froze at the bus stop.  Ultimately, he asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was the pastor of a church in Crystal City.  His reply?  “Are you the chapstick people?”  I almost fell out of my seat!!

Here’s the backstory.  The week before Restoration City launched in October, we spent one evening at the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro stations handing out chapstick and invitations to come to our first gathering.  This guy got one, has been thinking about us ever since and is still thinking about his chapstick three months later!  By the way, I’m not sure if he’s going to come to Restoration City any time soon or not.  He didn’t seem to hate the idea but he also didn’t make any promises.  So, this is not leading to some great, “and we’re baptizing him on Sunday!!” moment.

Here’s where it is leading: we never know the way God is going to use the little seeds we plant.  In 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul is writing about his ministry and the way he partnered with another Christian named Apollos when he writes this, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”  Don’t miss the big picture: God is the One who builds His church, calls people to faith and changes lives.  Sometimes he works through a number of different people along the way.  Sometimes He even gets the process started with some chapstick.  Growth belongs to God but you and I have a role to play in His work.  We’re the seed planters.  We’re the ones who are here to open our mouths and let people know there is a God who loves them, forgives them and calls them to a whole new life.

Simple question for the day: Where are you planting?  Are you scattering any seed for someone else to water?  What are you asking God to grow?  Our city is in tremendous need of hope and you and I have the answer!!  People need Jesus.  How could you leverage your life today to reach out to someone, have a conversation and see what God will do with it?  You never know what He will do with it.  Rise up, Chapstick People!