My Prayer For DC In One Statue

awakening statue

This potentially gruesome statue has become one of my favorite places in DC.  If you’ve ever been to National Harbor in Maryland, you’ve no doubt seen this piece of art rising up out of the sand.  To be honest, it used to creep me out.  But that all changed when I learned the name of the piece: awakening.  Now I can’t look at it without thinking about the gospel and my prayers for DC.

Pray For Awakening In Our City

I love this town.  There’s no other place I would rather live and no other place Laura and I would rather raise our children.  But there’s so much death and despair here.  Earlier this week, it was reported that we now stand at 78 homicides YTD in the District alone.  That’s a 20% increase over last year.  Synthetic drugs are robbing young people of their hopes, futures and lives.  Families struggle to put food on the table.  Churches keep closing their doors.

I want my life to be about awakening in this city.  An awakening to the truth, hope and life found in Jesus.

Pray For Awakening In Our Souls

But that awakening will only come to a city when it first comes to our souls.  Our Christian lives look a lot like the awakening statue – parts of us have burst out of the ground to new life.  God is changing, molding and strengthening.  But there’s so much of us that remains buried under the sands of sin and shame.  So many places where we long to be new but detect the old.  So many places where we know but don’t believe the gospel.

How I long for a life fully awake to the glory of God.  He’s more majestic, powerful, just and merciful than we can imagine.  We need Him to open our eyes that we would fully taste and see His goodness.

Power For Awakening

There is hope for awakening.  For me, for you, for our city.  It’s the hope that comes from knowing there was once a man who really did rise up out of the ground.  The tomb of death couldn’t contain Jesus.  He came back to life that we would do the same.  He defeated death that we could be alive, awake and available for His mission.

The incredible thing is that God intends to accomplish this awakening through His church.  You may be more focused on the parts of you still buried but God is more focused on how to use the restored parts of you for His glory.  Don’t hold back because there’s still work to do in you.  Press forward into the hope of the gospel and the mission of bringing awakening to a city.  It’s why we’re here.

RCC Launch Team Meeting Tomorrow

With each passing week, I get more and more excited for our RCC Launch Team Meetings.  A group of individuals is fast becoming a team and we’re all developing a sense that God is doing something unique through our little, embryonic church.  So, I’m filled with expectation for tomorrow’s meeting!  And I love that there are now 3 ways for you to connect with a Launch Team Meeting.

1.  In Raleigh-Durham.  Tomorrow we’re going to be meeting at The Summit’s Brier Creek Campus in the Volunteer Headquarters Room (which is Suite 111 in BC North).  There’s still time to join us – you don’t need to RSVP.  Just show up at 1PM.

2.  In Washington, DC.  I can’t tell you how much I love the thought of our team already having a presence in DC!  Our DC meeting is at the exact same time (1PM) and you can get all of the details and RSVP here.

3.  You can also watch a good portion of the meeting online via Livestream.  We do this for three reasons.  One, it’s the service we use to link our RDU and DC meetings together.  Two, we know some of our launch team is traveling on any given weekend and this provides a way to stay in sync with the team.  Three, we have a few people living in other parts of the country and other parts of the world who are going to be joining us in DC this summer.  Yes, that’s right…our launch team is international at this point!  So if you can’t make one of the meetings in DC or RDU, feel free to join us online at 1PM EST tomorrow.  You just have to follow my Livestream account here.

All of our meetings start at 1PM tomorrow and all are open to anyone interested in learning more about RCC.  So, feel free to join us if you’re interested in learning more.

See you tomorrow,

John

Reflections On Vision Weekend

This past weekend was absolutely amazing as we got to host our first public vision meeting for the planting of Restoration City Church in Washington, DC.  We had about 40 people show up and express interest in joining our team!  That’s crazy when you think about it – 40 people from Raleigh-Durham showing up to talk about how God could use them in planting a church in Washington, DC. Unreal!!!  My heart is still so full and I am so excited for what God could do through this team.

I don’t know that I have one big summary thought from the weekend.  At this point, it’s more a collection of random thoughts.  But here they are:

1.  I love planting a church!  There is absolutely nothing like seeing Jesus be faithful to His promise to build His church.  It’s thrilling to watch God work and I love seeing Him bring something new to life.  I can’t imagine doing anything else right now and am so grateful this is what God has called me to do.

2.  It feels really good to use your gifts.  As I was driving to church on Sunday, I realized it had been well over 6 months since I had gotten to be in a room of volunteers and cast vision for what God is doing through a ministry.  That’s not a complaint about those months…I just hadn’t realized how long it had been.  And I had forgotten how much I love it.  If you can’t get inspired by people showing up to see how they can leverage their lives for God’s glory, I don’t know what would fire you up!  It’s just amazing and I love times like those.

3.  I’m so grateful to our team.  We had a small team of people who helped pull the whole meeting together and they did a great job.  They served so well and I’m so grateful to call each one of them friends.

4.  This is only the start.  Our goal isn’t to host a successful vision meeting.  Our goal is to plant a church that God uses in a powerful way to reach the lost in Washington, DC.  This isn’t the time to sit back and congratulate ourselves on a good start.  This is the time to pray bigger, trust more, work harder and believe all the promises of God.  This is a time to prepare for what’s ahead…but I do love the first indication that it’s going to be an incredible ride!

Now starts the really fun part – seeing Jesus turn a room full of strangers into a team that loves one another and is determined to see restoration come to Washington.  When I think about that, it really does seem like the best is yet to come!